You can hide here ...You have to give a lot of credit to baseball players if they are still playing at the high school level and beyond. So much of our modern society pushes them away from a sport like baseball. Playing the game well takes an incredible amount of skill. Acquiring that skill takes an enormous amount of time and hard work on the part of the player. It also involves a high level of failure and adversity. Many young people today will avoid such an activity like the plague. The training involved doesn’t match up with many who are looking for instant gratification.
... but not here.Baseball is unique in many ways but the one that stands out in my mind is the fact that a player cannot hide (or be hidden) like other sports. In just about every sport, players and/or coaches can specifically design plays that put the ball (and therefore the game) in the hands of the best players. Have a great running back? Just hand him the ball. Ten seconds left on the court with the game tied? Just call time out and design a play to get the ball to your best shooter. In baseball, the best players on the field can be taken completely out of the game just by the nature of the sport. Need a big hit in the ninth inning? Your best hitters may not be up to bat for another two innings. Have the best shortstop in the state? The ball may not be hit to him all game. The point is, in baseball, every player on the field has to perform at some point. Sooner or later, every hitter has to walk up to the plate with the bat in his hands and all eyes on the field will be watching. With the game on the line, a ball may be hit right at your worst defensive player. Many young people cannot handle that pressure because there is nowhere to hide. If you are not a good player, you can be exposed in front of everyone at any moment. That’s one of the reasons why many young people today are turning to soccer and lacrosse. You can hide in those sports.So if a young man is passionate about the game, welcomes that pressure, and continues to play in spite of all the adversity, give him a lot of credit. Many kids his age can't get away from that fast enough.
(Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo)