Little League Opening Day: We Do This FOR THE KIDS

Yesterday was the opening day for Fall Ball at the local Little League. If you follow me on Twitter then you may have taken note that the culture of Little League has a lot of parental involvement. Or possibly you might have noted my unparalled disdain for The Baseball Mom.

Little League seems to rival Pop Warner for the most involved parent awards. Unlike soccer, volleyball or tennis more than one coach is required so at least three dads are on the field at a time. Once in a while a mom makes her way onto the field, but the dads do a pretty good job of moving her along to snack duty like a good mom.

Like other sports there is a draft. Presumably this is to keep the teams balanced.

Baseball is about one kid and a ball. Unlike other sports the play is where the ball is and the spotlight is on the boy with the ball. It can be a lot of pressure on a child so moms like me supplement Little League with a pitching, catching or hitting lesson. My son goes for an hour a week and the cost is $85 an hour. To keep that in perspective a really great Math or English Tutor runs about $65 an hour.

I know it’s silly but Alexander loves those lessons and we can swing it. So why not? Why not indeed. I’m morphing into a baseball mom.

This weekend our Little League has hit their stride. You may or may not know that a season of Little League is a little over $200, then you buy a bag, bat, glove, cleats, batting gloves, and more. It’s a fairly significant expense as compared to sports like soccer or volleyball, where you pay $100 or less, join a league and buy the kids a pair of shoes and a ball. After paying the $200+ (I think it was $230 last year?) you are asked to help fund raise. This is typically where I lose interest. The fundraising supports lights on the fields… ummm I don’t want my kids there in the dark, I want them home for dinner. Sometimes the fundraisers support the off season teams, again, that’s not my boy, you’re on your own.

Apparently this year the Board of Directors of the Not For Profit Little League, which is responsible for providing young children (boys only at our park) with the opportunity to play baseball, has decided that the best way to use those tax free funds was a parent donated** drumroll please……

Two flat screen TVs and Directv for the local little league

not one, but two large screen TVs and DirecTV. You know, for the kids.

**Edited as I was wrong that it was fundraiser money spent

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Comments 18

  1. I just stared at that photo for the first few minutes after reading this; it was so ridiculous. I guess we now have to entice parents to stick around at their child’s game? Misappropriation of funds, in deed. But, my next thought was, “…and who gets to take them home afterwards?”

  2. Ah yes…kids and sports.  I got shoehorned into refereeing for soccer one year.  No parental volunteers?  Then no play off chance for the team.  Nice, huh?  I sported the horrible striped shirt and whistle and made every call backwards.  I still get teased regularly for this-seven years later.  But I am dedicated. 

    I feel your pain with the expense.  But try rhythmic gymnastics sometime.  Monthly tuition, privates for choreography, leotards, entry fees and travel.  Not to mention apparatus.  I can’t bring myself to add it all up.

    But you know…It’s all good in the end.  It’s nice knowing I’m not alone in the insanity.  Thanks for your piece.

  3. Wow. That’s…wow. My kid has played two years of Little League and you might as well be prepared to open your wallet and dump it out. My favorite is the mandatory fund raising of at least $100 on top of the $200+ for registration. And then the money for the silent auction basket, the bowl-a-thon, and then of course the coaches gifts and the team party. 

    The TVs? That’s new low. 

  4. That’s sad. I can’t imagine how the little kids feel playing ball and knowing that the parents/adults aren’t there to cheer them on but to watch something on a big tv. I completely agree with the fundraising. I’m a baseball mom and my son just played his first year of Summer Ball. It was around what you paid once we bought all the equipment and payed his fees. THEN we had to fund raise an addition 100 on top of the $75 it cost to sign him up. It gets expensive no matter what a persons’ budget is and I’d be highly upset had I found out it was being spent on something like this.

  5. We did ONE 6 week season of pop warner cheer.  For the 5-7 age group.  It.  Was.  HELL.  Never again…and they may have also ensured I ruined my child’s chances of EVER playing a group sport again.

  6. oh their generosity is beyond Unbelievable Geez really? Give me a break!! HOW are they suppose to see their kids playing while they are in there? WTG .. Parent of the year awards I can see them coming now

  7. Maybe they could have put the TV money in the fund raising collection and then everyone would have sell junky stuff! Some people …

  8. This reminds me of when I was in middle school and asked to be a soccer ref for the little ones. The parents tore me apart, relentlessly booing and heckling me the entire game, for not catching one particular kids’ sneaky checks and whatnot. It was one of the most humiliating experiences I can recall. I would love for my daughter to play sports but vow to never become an asshole about it.

  9. Pingback: Sports: We do it for The Kids! | Jessica Gottlieb A Los Angeles Mom

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