From the World of Parks and Recreation
By Doug Comer
T-ball has been a staple in Harrison County athletics for years.
I remember myself being second basemen for my local team in North View. While my memory is a little sketchy nowadays as to my batting average or how many errors I committed in my time, I do remember it was a great experience as I would continue to play up through my teenage years.
Beginning June 1st, Harrison County Parks and Recreation opened its season of T-ball for the kids in the area and with 85 kids participating, the league hopes to accomplish what leagues have done in years past.
“We just want to give the kids an opportunity to try a sport that they might want to play for a long time. And to play a game that teaches teamwork and sportsmanship, while in a safe and non-competitive atmosphere, is a sport that is right in our wheelhouse,” said Director Mike Book.
Players in the MLB have had to start somewhere and I believe that most started at the T-ball ranks. For youngsters who are just getting their motor skills tuned in, the league teaches eye-hand coordination, as well as some basic rules for the players to go by.
“I am sure that a Cal Ripken or Derek Jeter probably started out with T-ball and look where the sport took them,” said Book. We have practices before the season that teaches the basics like running, throwing and hitting. And the volunteers that go over the rules with the kids are actually giving them their first instruction to the sport. Hit the ball and run to that base. Don’t run if the ball is caught. Stuff like that. It is pretty impressive knowing that coaches are in the beginning stages of molding the players to be prepared for higher levels of baseball,” he ended.
As mentioned earlier, we tend to stray away from competition, especially at that level. We want to just give the kids the chance to play the sport and let them decide if it is something that they would like to pursue later down the road. And we have seen in the box scores of the paper some of the names that played in our league. For Book, it not only shows the years he has been with Parks and Rec, but it gives him a good feeling that the kids continued and has succeeded at the sport.
“You do see a few kids as they grow older compete at the next levels. From Little League to Babe Ruth and later on High School, kids are taking a liking to the game of baseball and I am sure through their hard work and dedication, that they were able to reach a pinnacle of that level. We have been doing this for a lot of years, and it does make me happy to see the kids do well at the sport.”
With six teams in the league this year, scheduling has been a little tighter as compared to the previous years. Word has gotten around and the league is good. Staff makes sure that the program has all the tools needed to be a success, as well as the positive atmosphere not only on the field, but in the stands as well.
Jack Cann, Recreation Specialist, has run the league for the past few years now and tries to improve on each year as he explains.
“When I first took over the league, my common goal was to make it better than the year prior and I feel that we have done that. We just want to expose the kids to the game of baseball hoping that they will have a fun time and learn the game and we are on course to our goals.”
All games played this year will be at the Summit Park Recreation Complex. Games are normally scheduled during the week and in the evenings. For more information about our other programs, please contact us at the Recreation Complex.