Give The Gift of Little League

  Recently, I asked minor league player Drew Heid if he could go back to his days of youth baseball would he do anything different.  He responded "No, not at all. Youth baseball was the reason I fell in love with baseball." That got me thinking.  Are there kids who may not have the opportunity to play youth baseball because of the cost? I spoke with Andy Setter, President of Vista National Little League, and he informed me that there are several players who can't afford registration fees. Registration fees range from $85 - $130. Let's give the gift of Little League for the Spring 2015 season. Your donations in any amount will go towards covering a player's registration fee. Click below to donate directly to Vista National Little League. Comment and Share after donating.  
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A Truly Touching Baseball Story

This story has inspired me to " bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world".   By The Numbers: A Truly Touching Baseball Story Father Gabe Costa on CBS New York Below is a “baseball story” which an old friend sent to me a few days ago. I suspect it will get you — right in the heart. At a fundraising dinner for a  school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: “When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?” The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued, “I believe that when a child like Shay, who is mentally and physically disabled, comes into the…
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Spring Training Glove Day!

Just think...maybe one day a glove manufacturer will be begging your young player to wear their glove. Glove day! Like Christmas in February.
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Tee Ball

Lefty's first experience in organized baseball...Tee Ball!

Hard to believe that it has been four years since this picture. But I love looking at it. I don't think his passion or focus for the game will ever be captured in a better pic. As the years go on, I do enjoy watching him play more and more. I enjoy seeing him learn the game and play at a higher level. I can't wait to see him play as a 12, 13 or 14 year old. I look forward to those years but remind myself to enjoy every moment he plays right now. I have friends who have young players starting their first year of tee ball. Their excitement is contagious. And I am talking about the parent's excitement.  I was in the process of offering a few ditties I have learned over the past years to these friends like: 1. There IS crying in baseball. When does it end? Not sure. I will let you know when I find out. 2. You will hear chatter about travel ball sooner than you think (in a year or two). Ye…
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Home Plate Collisions

MLB's rules committee approved a resolution at December's winter meetings to ban home plate collisions.  The guidelines designed to eliminate home plate collisions are scheduled to go into effect this season.  In the next few days, MLB will be making teams aware of the new rule.  At this time,  the general understanding that players and coaches are working with is that catchers can't block the plate and runners must slide and can't initiate a collision. Lefty spends a lot of time catching.  He has even been involved in one minor collision at the plate.  Nobody was hurt and there was no malicious intent.  But still not fun to see your kid ran over.  For young catchers and runners, this is a very serious play to master. For the fans the play at the plate is exciting.  Runner on second base, base hit to right field, the runner rounds third heading for home, the catcher in all his gear keeps his mask on to provide maximum protection, the ball and the runner arrive at home at th…
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Proper Age to Throw A Curveball

The Hammer, The Hook, Uncle Charlie, The Deuce, The Yakker

Do you know the recommended age to begin throwing a curveball? Hint:  It is not 8 [WpProQuiz 2]
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Padded Hat for Pitchers

Would you put your young player in this hat? When it comes to the safety of Lefty, I would say yes. Major League Baseball has approved a product designed to protect pitchers from potentially dangerous line drives hit at them. After testing a number of prototypes from various companies, a padded cap manufactured by the 4Licensing Corporation subsidiary isoBlox will be made available to pitchers at all levels when they report to Spring Training. Use of the equipment will be optional. MLB, which will continue to work with other companies that are developing products to enhance safety, alerted all teams of the development Tuesday morning after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association. Continue reading here
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One Pitch Ahead – The Mental Side of the Game

As Lefty gets older, I see the need for him to start thinking more about the mental side of the game. Last weekend we were playing in a tournament and I witnessed a few plays that caused some confusion. In baseball you have to be one pitch and one play ahead in your mind. What if the ball is hit to me? What if the runner steals? Questions like these need to be asked before every pitch. The first play was a pitcher with and 0 - 2 count serving up a pitch right over the plate. The game was tied and approaching the last innings. The batter swung at the first two pitches offered. The pitcher thought he was doing what he was supposed to do by throwing a the ball over the heart of the plate for strike three. The 0-2 pitch was smacked to left field for a single. Go-ahead run on first base. Unless you have a pretty large lead, you want to put the pressure on the batter by throwing an 0-2 pitch off the plate. Learning to pitch is the mental side of the game. The second involved an opp…
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Baseball Quilt

What do you do with your player's old jerseys?  Hang them in the back of the closet?  Put them away in a drawer or box?  Or...make a baseball jersey quilt. A friend of mine did this quilt for her son.  What a great keepsake. Not sure if she does this for others, but if she does, you will have to get in line behind me.
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Surviving Baseball Tryouts

It was 1989 and I was attending a tryout at a local college. I was up on the hill of the main field. There were four coaches sitting on buckets outside the dugout watching my every move while looking at their clipboards trying to find my name and pertinent information. Fellow players were sitting in the dugout sizing me up as their competition to make the team. And in the stands were a dozen parents doing the same. I finished my warm-up pitches and a batter steps in the box. Here we go...I take a deep breath and exhale and I start my windup. I bring my hands up to go over my head, right hand inside of my glove (which is how I began my wind-up ala Nolan Ryan), my glove hits the bill of my hat, pushing my hat back and off my head. I have no idea where my hat has gone. I just know it is not on my head any longer. I continue in my wind-up thinking the show must go on (big mistake!). I bring my hands back down from over my head. I separate my throwing hand from my glove to make the …
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