July 06, 2006

Stickball.: John McCarthy is trying to teach kids to play baseball for the love of the game. Caught this on NPR on the way to work today. You can read this or listen to the audio on the site. Sweet in so many ways.

posted by worldcup2002 to baseball at 01:19 PM - 13 comments

Great story!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by tommygator at 03:04 PM on July 06, 2006

He is such a good guy.......

posted by kidrayter2005 at 03:18 PM on July 06, 2006

Thank God my dad was one of my coaches in Little League and Babe Ruth League, he would never let me throw the duece. He taught me proper machanics tho, and my change up was sick.. And it didnt rip the elbow up it was a simple grip change. My favorite memory of my dad, and it pertains to this topic, is when down 2-1 bottom of the 6th ( you only play 6 in little league) man on first and 1 out. The head coach gives me the sign to bunt. I look over at my dad who is coaching first, and he gives me "the look" everyone knows "the look" from dad. I dont even show bunt and I rip a fastball down the right field line for a triple, I tie the game. When Im on 3rd the head coach is screaming my head off about how I have to sacrifice for the team... Blah Blah.. Just then I catch my dad at first and he gives me the Steal sign. I steal home and we win our little league championship.. My pops says to the head coach these are kids its not about winning its about playing . its not about bunting its about hitting.. and just incase ...We still won... LOL

posted by Robb Dubbs at 03:42 PM on July 06, 2006

Hooray for McCarthy, teaching it right. And hooray for NPR for telling the story.

posted by Thisguy at 03:59 PM on July 06, 2006

Well done, WC2K2. Nice link.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:49 PM on July 06, 2006

Cool. I am from a state that doesn't even know what a sandlot is let alone have one. This is a great story

posted by Young Mikey at 08:30 PM on July 06, 2006

It's really sad so many kids miss out on what was just a huge part of my childhood. As soon as the temperatures rose above 40 (I'm from western New York), we were always out playing baseball. There were no adults around, but like the author recalls, we'd make a few calls, and soon several guys would show up, and we'd play forever. We taught ourselves. A game we'd play in the schoolyard was called "Fastpitch," which was played with regular bats and gloves, but on a smaller area surrounded by a brick school. We'd use a tennis ball (man, did we go through a lot of those) and the pitchers would throw real heat, and an occasional deuce. We played so much, our arms became stronger and stronger. One father was so concerned about his kid always pitching "that tennis ball," and made his objections known when he'd see us. Years later, his son was one of the best high-school pitchers in the area, and he never had a tired or sore arm. The kids father later admitted it was our "Fastpitch" games that built up his arm, and he had changed his impression completely. I wish and hope more adults get involved (with kids and baseball) like in this story.

posted by dyams at 06:57 AM on July 07, 2006

As soon as the temperatures rose above 40 (I'm from western New York) So, like mid-July?

posted by yerfatma at 09:06 AM on July 07, 2006

So, like mid-July? Late June.

posted by dyams at 09:47 AM on July 07, 2006

Dyams, my experience growing up -- in the eastern part of the state -- was exactly the same. We devised I-don't-know-how-many derivations of baseball, tailored to the number of kids, playing space and type of equipment we were able to get. Tennis racquets, sticks, wiffle bats -- one time we played a game where we swung one of the smaller kids at a kickball. Congrats to McCarthy for his work (although I hope his notion of not keeping score was tailored for those seven-year-olds and doesn't apply to the upper age limits of his camp). The DC area has a lot of great baseball fans, and the game is growing in popularity with the arrival of the Nationals, so he's definitely in the right place at the right time. It's hard for kids to do what we did as kids -- it seems you need permits and waivers for everything outside your house now. Plus, there are too many things for kids to do indoors now. You know. Sportsfilter and whatnot. On edit: my dad says there are two seasons in Upstate New York... winter and the 4th of July.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:06 AM on July 07, 2006

Yeah well, I went home from college during the summer, so I never got a taste of the wonder of that other season.

posted by yerfatma at 10:21 AM on July 07, 2006

You went to Vassar?

posted by BullpenPro at 10:44 AM on July 07, 2006

No, but I'm sick of your Vassar bashing, young lady.

posted by yerfatma at 12:42 PM on July 07, 2006

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