Keller: Baseball has lost its roots as America’s pastime

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

“Take me out to the ballgame.” It’s that time of the year again!

The high school and college baseball seasons have reached the halfway mark. The Major League season has just begun, and the Little League players and coaches are beginning practice.

Baseball, once called America’s national pastime, has changed.

College teams play between 50 and 60 games compared to 20 games years ago. Today, college teams serve the purpose Minor League teams did in the past. The better players look to it as a road to the Major Leagues with a college education being a distant second, if at all.

The Major League teams are loaded with many high-priced players who are focused more on the money than providing entertainment for the fans.

It’s more about big business than about a group of men playing a kid’s game and having fun while making a living doing something they love.

One of the most disturbing changes has been in Little League baseball. The first organized Little League in St. John Parish was started in 1952 with six teams, one from LaPlace, four from Reserve and one from Garyville.

They were equipped with uniforms and were coached by men who had one concern and that was to provide healthy, organized recreation where children were competitive, learned sportsmanship and, more importantly, had fun.

Today, it’s hard for a kid to really have fun. Many of the teams are coached by fathers who are living their lives though their child.

The conduct of some of these men during practice and the games could be called child abuse.

We all get outraged when we hear about physical and sexual abuse of children, but what about emotional and verbal abuse that will discourage a kid from developing into the person God intended.

Many will get discouraged and quit participating in sports. Others will become high school players where the pressure to win is most important. I’m glad I grew up when baseball was America’s national pastime.

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477 or e-mail