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Little League Parents: Not always the best example.

04 Mar 2010
A baseball, cropped from :Image:Baseball.
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I had two baseball teams in 2005, the black team and the green team.  Each made up mainly of eleven and twelve-year olds, with a few younger boys added to bring each team to at least nine players.  None of the boy’s parents were willing to coach a team, not a single one, so I stepped up and decided to coach both teams.  Same league, same level.  I actually coached a game against myself and that game resulted in the one loss of the season.  They were a really talented set of boys, and of course they were well coached!

There were a lot of fun moments, crazy moments and one day there was a totally bizarre moment.  That day a brother of a kid on the opposing team dropped shorts in far centered field and started taking a crap.  My team was up to bat, so my focus was towards the batter box until I heard one of the boys say “Holy shit – he’s taking a crap in the field!”   I quickly turned to him to tell him to watch his language and noticed the fingers of all the boys pointing towards center field.  I turned to look and there he was, unbelievable, he was probably about ten years old.

I told my boys to stop talking, stop pointing and to sit quietly on the bench.  Obviously this boy has some issues and it is not right for us to draw more attention and make fun of him.  Respecting others is a big deal and it was a big part of them working together as a team.  As they all sat quietly I approached the umpire and quietly told him about the boy, he looked out and saw it.  I asked the umpire if he could quietly notify the other coach of the situation and see if they could get this kids pants up and removed from the field, stat!

It was surprising to me that it appeared no one on the other team noticed.  Not one.  They were yelling to get the game started.  Did they not see what was going on?  Or were they just ignoring it?  I looked out again, and there he was.

The umpire walked over to the other coach and got close to him.  I could not hear what was said, but did notice the coach look out towards center field and then back towards his parents.  He walked over to one of the parents and bent over to talk with them.  Then that parent jumped up from his chair and started shouting at me while moving towards me.  “You don’t know what you saw.  You need to mind your own business!  You didn’t see anything!  Why don’t you just shut-up and coach baseball you f-in jerk and stop raising accusations!  You liberal S.O.B.!”  I was stunned!

The situation was distracting and disturbing, and I thought I did my best to quiet my boys quickly and handle it as discreetly as possible.  I could not believe this parent was so irate with me.  By this time the boys were mad, really mad because they felt like they were being called liars.  Our parents were restless and it was obvious this could get out of hand really fast.  I turned to my players and my parents and asked that they just ignore this parent, reminding them that nothing is going to change what they think right now.  They reminded me that I don’t need to take this crap and a few said they got my back.  What?  No!  We are ignoring and going to win this game.  We will talk about this later.

We walloped that team.  It was a bittersweet victory.

I am not sure what the story was behind that kid.  Why the other team just ignored it.  Why the parent got so irate with me.  But I was proud how my team and their parents handled themselves, because it was a few minutes of intense anger.

The anger that parent displayed is scary.  It was not rational behavior.  There are many children, women and men who have to deal with an intimidating person like this often in their own home and that is a tragedy.  Violence, whether with words or actions only creates more problems.

There are some kids on that field that hopefully learned to handle situations calmly and discreetly.  But I wonder what the other son of this parent learned?

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From → Kids, Parenting

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