April 10, 2017, Prescott-
One of my students asked me to attend his Little League team’s game, this evening. Having no appointments or meetings, I eagerly headed over to Roughrider Park, the Prescott League’s primary venue. It was carved from Fort Whipple, many years ago, along with Prescott VA Hospital and Yavapai College.
Team sports teach children several skills. Some are obvious, like looking out for one’s teammates, decency towards one’s opponents, the value of practice and accepting constructive criticism. Other lessons, such as everyone has something to contribute and there is no task too menial for a team member to perform, are less front and center- and sometimes must be sought out.
It’s been several years since I watched 8-10 year-old children in the course of learning these types of lessons, in an athletic setting. Some things have changed: Adults are not necessarily the only umpires. Men are not necessarily the only coaches and managers. The opposing team was managed by a woman. Each team had at least one girl player, and each girl held her own. Proves what I have felt to be true, since junior high school: Skill is skill.
The basics, though, remain constant, and baseball will remain a key pastime of youth, for a good many generations to come.