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Thread: Sandlot Baseball

  1. #1

    Sandlot Baseball

    I came across this article on sandlot baseball - or the demise of it. I really hadn't thought about it, but they are right on a lot of counts.
    The boys next door are both in baseball leagues and are gone a good amount of the time - and wiped out when home. All the while, the ball field up the street is empty.
    How many of you remember those long summer days playing in the vacant lot down the street? Second base was the big piece of concrete, home plate was made from pieces of flagstone fit together that resembled the correct shape. If the ball got lost in the tall weeds, the game stopped and everyone started looking for it. (we usually only had one ball) No helmets, cleats, uniforms, just a glove and if you were lucky a cap.
    Oh well, a trip down memory lane if nothing else.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Coastal plain of North Carolina
    How sad the reasons that were listed in the article are....

    When I was a kid we lived out in the country and there was always a vacant field where we could go play baseball. Most of the time it was overgrown with broom straw and all kinds of weeds and we would use sling blades to clear it so that there was a batter's box, pitcher's mound and bases. It was not unusual for the grass and weeds to be high enough that we would temporarily lose ground balls and this caused the implementation of ground rule doubles.

    I can't tell you how many times I ran across a field like this and encountered wild briers and ripped up my legs.

    We didn't have video games, families were the old fashioned kind with one mother and one father, and there was little fear of crime. I don't think many pedophiles wanted to mess with a bunch of country boys who knew how to throw rocks and use bats. And of course someone who messed with a kid in those days had to fear the entire community.

    Where we were we had a limited little league baseball organization and none of us had the money for any fancy equipment.

    I guess all we had to do was play baseball when we weren't working at home or on the farm. Today's kids may have all the advantages but they surely are disadvantaged....

    By the way there is a very entertaining movie called "The Sandlot" about a bunch of kids playing baseball. It will take you down memory lane and provide a few laughs while doing it.
    Last edited by Mike Stafford; 07-21-2008 at 09:17 PM. Reason: afterthought
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Yup, we rarely had enough for two teams, so we used to play a thing called "scrub", which was just softball where everyone rotated through every position. No teams, no winners, no losers, and no adults allowed. ...lots of fun...

    cheers eh?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Oliver Springs, TN
    We never had enough for two teams. We would have ghost runners so you could go bat if your turn came up and you were on base.

    My son is 7 and plays little league baseball. I have seen parents pay 200 to 300 dollars for a bat! Some of the kids already play nearly year round with summer and fall leagues. I think a lot of playing for the fun of it has been lost.

    I'm starting my 16th year of coaching high school football. We had our first day of practice this morning as a matter of fact. In 15 years of coaching I have never seen parents act like I have the past couple of years of little league.
    Last edited by John Daugherty; 07-22-2008 at 01:08 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    We only had 4 or 5 kids at any one time in my neighborhood. We made up our own game using a batter, pitcher, 1st base and 1 or 2 fielders. Unless one of had a lawn to mow, we started about 8:30 in the morning, took short breaks to eat, and played until dark. Players changed all day as chores and errands took priority. The paperboy would stop and play for a while after his afternoon collections as did some of the dads (usually pitched) when they got home after work. Gosh, we had fun. Sometimes, after supper, with our parents permission we went to the one park in town with a lighted court and played basketball until the 10:00 town curfew. Yeah, we were hicks--we had dinner at noon and supper in the evening.


    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Carlyle IL
    Back in the late 60's or early 70's there were always baseball games at the parks, or school ball fields.

    Now you never see kids playing pickup games. Instead I see alot of parents taking their kids to private coaching lessons. pitching, catching, hitting lessons.... you name it and these parents are spending the money on the private lessons.
    Last edited by Joe Mioux; 07-22-2008 at 02:24 AM.

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