When a father holds his newborn son, does he think, "this is my new ballplayer?"
I’m not a father, so I have yet to look into a human being’s eyes that I have created and see myself. That said… Should we get past this idea of trying to create the next shortstop for the New York Yankees?
Baseball has become just like any other American business where the labor has been outsourced and anything made in the good ol’ US of A is expensive and a financial risk. I grew up playing catch with my father, in fact those are some of my fondest memories. To walk down to a patchy field at the end of the road, get devoured by mosquitos and throw until the sky becomes so dark outside, that I can only see the ball a few feet from my face.
America is changing. Do fathers and sons still ‘play catch’ for the purpose of spending time with one another, you know, as a pastime, or is it now a constant effort to pay for college and get rich? Worst than that, said father has an idea in his mind about who his son is and should be before he even knows who he is, before the son even knows who he is. Outside of discipline, kids should be able to figure out their interests. So much information is at their fingertips and by the time they grow up in just a few years, they will be more equipped to digest it than their parents. Allow their minds to explore the endless possibilities that are quite literally at their fingertips as opposed to firing them off into some archaic idea of what it means to conquer sport. The notion that 'you can be whatever you want to when you grow up' is what got millennials in trouble in the first place. Go to school, excel, make good grades and graduate only to find out the jobs weren't actually there waiting for them. By looking down at a baby's blue round eyes and wishing they get to the big leagues puts that family on track to shell out upwards of $150,000-200,000 on a game with no real proven ancillary skills that can be used in the real world.
The flip side is that those kids do also need to learn the communication and interpersonal skills that are required to play within a team environment, after all, we are part of an increasingly interconnected world, sport just needs to stay as that, a tool to teach our kids not use our kids to play out our own dreams.