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IdahoBert

Is baseball culturally obsolete even though it's thriving financially?

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Something they are trying with kids 10 and under is to take a typical team of 12 players and split them into two teams of 6 to play against another team also split in two (one game home, the other away). 4 infielders, a pitcher and a catcher. No steals are allowed but a base runner can advance on a passed ball / wild pitch. Balls hit into the OF on the fly are a double automatically or the player can try for 3 bases at risk. A ball through the infield on the ground can result in a double at most and all plays on the ground are at risk.

As a practical matter, at that age most balls are on the ground or are flares so there are relatively few plays for the OF. So doing it this way gives everyone far more plays, AB, pitching opportunities, etc.

This is a good idea.

During practices I would split up the kids into small groups to practice different skills, recruit a couple dad's and get everyone involved, I tried not to leave much standing around time.

During the games, outside of pitcher and catcher who are involved in every play, it's near impossible to keep a kid's attention in the game. I could see a game with 6 kids on a team keeping the kids much more involved.

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You are also shamed if you do not know where your kids are at all times...the horror! Imagine how crazy the internet goes if a kid goes missing and the parents have the gaul to say they were not sure where little johnny was...

90% of the time during the day time hours my parents had no idea where I was. I would be playing down the street at a friends house or at the park down the road.

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This is a good idea.

During practices I would split up the kids into small groups to practice different skills, recruit a couple dad's and get everyone involved, I tried not to leave much standing around time.

During the games, outside of pitcher and catcher who are involved in every play, it's near impossible to keep a kid's attention in the game. I could see a game with 6 kids on a team keeping the kids much more involved.

Every kid wanted to catch or pitch when I coached. The outfielders got so bored.

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The gravel field at the end of my street was too big to use as an actual field with a fence you could hit...we usually played wiffle ball on the grass of the house at the end of the street...trees all over the houses right there the street right there.....but we always made it work somehow. We would play until it got dark.

I really wonder if kids today even know what those games are...wiffle ball, bounce of the curb etc etc. We played all those games because it was boring in the house. Now it is the opposite....it is boring outside because inside is where the 70" HD TV with 1000 channels and a Playstation 4 with 30 games, and the ipad and the computer are all at.

I'll admit, if there had been more than only the 3 TV channels we had, and the Internet and video games had existed as well, I doubt we could have fielded enough guys to play wiffle ball all summer long.

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Every kid wanted to catch or pitch when I coached. The outfielders got so bored.

That is because there is nothing for the outfielder at age 10 or younger on the vast majority of plays, and the few they do get are mostly grounders that got through the infield with no play to make other than to toss it back into the infield.

As an example, my younger son played travel U9 this past season and played OF almost exclusively. In roughly 60 innings of defense in the OF, I'd guess he handled the ball less than 15 times. He had 3 catches, had a chance on one other fliner that he didn't come up with. The other times he handled the ball were ground balls through the infield that were slow rollers by the time it got to him. He was involved in 1 relay throw on a hit that almost got a base runner at home. All other throws were just a toss into 2B with no chance to get a runner.

It is almost always a complete waste of time for children to play OF in games under the age of 10. I'd say any child that age gets more out of shagging flies for just 30 minutes than a season's worth of games in OF.

Edited by Mr. Bigglesworth

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This is a good idea.

During practices I would split up the kids into small groups to practice different skills, recruit a couple dad's and get everyone involved, I tried not to leave much standing around time.

During the games, outside of pitcher and catcher who are involved in every play, it's near impossible to keep a kid's attention in the game. I could see a game with 6 kids on a team keeping the kids much more involved.

yeah, the drills are fun if you run them right. As a pop fly machine...my shoulder/elbow would feel some serious pain after these things though.

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yeah, the drills are fun if you run them right. As a pop fly machine...my shoulder/elbow would feel some serious pain after these things though.

I'd recommend using a racket and a racquetball. If a player uses both hands and catches it the pocket of the glove, it is caught.

If it hits the heel of the glove or if they only use one hand, it will pop out of the glove almost every time. If they miss the ball and it hits them in the head or shoulder, it doesn't hurt, which with beginners is an important consideration. Can't have a player afraid of the ball if you are trying to build their confidence in the skill.

And no strain on the arm of the coach.

Edited by Mr. Bigglesworth

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This is a good idea.

During practices I would split up the kids into small groups to practice different skills, recruit a couple dad's and get everyone involved, I tried not to leave much standing around time.

Good job. Based on my experience you did a much better than average job.

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I'd recommend using a racket and a racquetball. If a player uses both hands and catches it the pocket of the glove, it is caught.

If it hits the heel of the glove or if they only use one hand, it will pop out of the glove almost every time. If they miss the ball and it hits them in the head or shoulder, it doesn't hurt, which with beginners is an important consideration. Can't have a player afraid of the ball if you are trying to build their confidence in the skill.

And no strain on the arm of the coach.

We ran a couple of exotic drills involving having helmets on and having a tennis ball land on their heads soccer style.

We hit those small sub whiffle balls in practice during soft toss.

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In the future when the Terminators run the planet, baseball will diminish in significance. Until then, its the kind of things that thrill the heart of Ken Burns and George Will and all the high intellect types who won't survive long after the singularity.

I was sure this already happened in 1974.

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I'll admit, if there had been more than only the 3 TV channels we had, and the Internet and video games had existed as well, I doubt we could have fielded enough guys to play wiffle ball all summer long.

The biggest thing for me as a kid was getting to go to a friends house who had some kind of gaming system. I had the Atari and loved it and played the hell out of it, but they had the really good systems. The first time I played a Nintendo was over a friends house. He told my mom his dad was home...he wasn't, but came crashing in an hour or so after we started playing. I had to hide under his bed because he would have got in trouble if his dad saw me there. Luckily he did not stay long. I had to call my mom to pick me up right after that because I was so freaked out! lol

A PS4 as a kid? Forget about it. My nephew is a lot like me and is inside ALL THE TIME because of his PS4. It is the only thing I can talk to him about. He used to be a good pitcher in baseball (my brother and I coached him), but he lost interest in it and got lost even more in his PS4. No matter how much I tried to get him back into baseball that PS4 sucked him in.

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We ran a couple of exotic drills involving having helmets on and having a tennis ball land on their heads soccer style.

We hit those small sub whiffle balls in practice during soft toss.

I prefer the racquetball to the whiffle ball because you can both hit it harder/higher and it forces the player to catch the ball in the pocket of his or her glove correctly to stay in the glove.

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The biggest thing for me as a kid was getting to go to a friends house who had some kind of gaming system. I had the Atari and loved it and played the hell out of it, but they had the really good systems. The first time I played a Nintendo was over a friends house. He told my mom his dad was home...he wasn't, but came crashing in an hour or so after we started playing. I had to hide under his bed because he would have got in trouble if his dad saw me there. Luckily he did not stay long. I had to call my mom to pick me up right after that because I was so freaked out! lol

A PS4 as a kid? Forget about it. My nephew is a lot like me and is inside ALL THE TIME because of his PS4. It is the only thing I can talk to him about. He used to be a good pitcher in baseball (my brother and I coached him), but he lost interest in it and got lost even more in his PS4. No matter how much I tried to get him back into baseball that PS4 sucked him in.

This is how we played baseball indoors. To this day, thanks in large part to this spinner game I could name more MLBers from 1976 and take a decent guess at their stats than I could for 2014:

TEMPLATE%20cadaco%20baseball%20box%201971%20strategic%20EX-NM.JPG

TEMPLATE%20cadaco%20baseball%20discs%201970%20NM.JPG

CADACO ALL STAR BASEBALL GAME

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This is how we played baseball indoors. To this day, thanks in large part to this spinner game I could name more MLBers from 1976 and take a decent guess at their stats than I could for 2014:

TEMPLATE%20cadaco%20baseball%20box%201971%20strategic%20EX-NM.JPG

TEMPLATE%20cadaco%20baseball%20discs%201970%20NM.JPG

CADACO ALL STAR BASEBALL GAME

I'm a APBA guy myself. While my son played a couple years of little league, being in a draft league also helped to get him hooked on the game

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I loved playing APBA...I can still recite the most of 1976 Oakland A's batting order (they were my favorite team to play as....North, Campaneris, Baylor, Rudi, Bando, Tenace, Washington, Williams, Garner...unlees the catcher was Fosse or ? then Tenace played 1st and Rudi moved to LF).

How many 1's would steroid era Barry Bonds have? 12? :)

We also had that Cadco game when we were younger...it was a fun little gme to play

Edited by Shinzaki

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Has anyone read Robert Coover's Universal Baseball Association?

Yes, when it was first published in 1968. I wrote Coover a letter of admiration and he sent back a postcard. Said he played a modest version of Henry's game when he was younger.

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Baseball's cultural decline coincides with the rise in ADD and accessibly technology. Kids today want flashy instant gratification. Basketball provides that with countless baskets, football provides that in scoring and in "cool hits". Baseball is slow paced, but in a cerebral strategic way, and kids growing up now demand something completely different in sports.

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In other words......there's a lot more stupid people nowadays.

No, there are just more opportunities for people to expose their stupidity.

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Baseball's cultural decline coincides with the rise in ADD and accessibly technology. Kids today want flashy instant gratification. Basketball provides that with countless baskets, football provides that in scoring and in "cool hits". Baseball is slow paced, but in a cerebral strategic way, and kids growing up now demand something completely different in sports.

I played HS ball and graduated not so long ago, so I consider myself apart of the younger generation. Sounds like baseball was THE sport 20-30 years ago. I'm certain it is no longer the premier game with young kids, especially here in MN its all about hockey. But, even though the Twins suck, many younger people are fans and make the couple hour trek to the cities to watch them. No worries for MLB.

Also, seems like everyone plays little league, but getting kids to stick with it until they're older is tough. I think the issue is only enough playing time for the "good" kids, so only some of them will keep playing and enjoy the sport lifelong.

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