9-year-old too good for youth baseball league

Filed under: Tweens, Activities: Babies, Health & Safety: Babies, In The News

Should he choose to, Jericho Scott could probably have a career as a professional baseball player. Only nine-years-old, the New Haven, Connecticut boy has a fastball pitch that has been clocked at 40 miles per hour. Unfortunately, it's that fastball that has gotten him banned from pitching for the co-ed Youth Baseball League of New Haven.

Scott's coach and parents say that he's being unfairly targeted and that league officials are picking on him because he turned down an invitation to join the league's champion team, which happens to be sponsored by a league administrator. League officials say Scott was banned due to safety concerns. Although everyone admits that Scott has never hit anyone with a pitch, league attorney Peter Noble says parents are afraid their kids will get hurt at bat. "He is a very skilled player, a very hard thrower," Noble said. "There are a lot of beginners. This is not a high-powered league. This is a developmental league whose main purpose is to promote the sport."

League officials have suggested that Scott play another position, pitch against older players or even play in a different league. But last week, Scott took the mound despite the ban. In response, the other team forfeited the game and walked off the field. This did not go over well with Scott's mom, who Noble says became irate and threatened league officials. "I have never seen behavior of a parent like the behavior Jericho's mother exhibited Wednesday night," Noble said.

The Scotts have gotten their own lawyer and are looking into their legal options. "You don't have to be learned in the law to know in your heart that it's wrong," attorney John Williams said. "Now you have to be punished because you excel at something?"

What is happening to Jericho Scott may seem unfair, but I don't know that I would characterize it as punishment for being too good. By that logic, forcing beginner players to face a 40-mile-per-hour fastball is punishing them for not being good enough. The suggestion to play with an older team seems like a good solution to this problem and I wonder why he doesn't take it.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.