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From James Spike Bishop

By Staff | Jun 10, 2009

I read an article about “Little League” in the Wheeling paper, a couple of weeks ago. It made think about my years in Little League in New Martinsville. I played in the late 50’s, early 60’s. My first coach was Don Book, for the CS Reds. That was Columbia Southern. Other coaches were Charles Block, Niles Ratcliffe, Don Hanna, and others. It’s been quite a number of years.

I have a grandson playing in the WV/Ohio nine and 10-year-old traveling league. My how times have changed. I don’t recognize this kind of baseball. Every place you go the “kids” face a different set of rules. Different umpires, usually youngsters, giving their opinions of the “rules” and strike zones. When I played either Mike Tusic or Bill Tonini always umpired. Evidently, the league I played in was well run, for few problems arose that Mike or Bill couldn’t handle.

The league my grandson plays in evidently never heard of a Little League Rule Book. They use their own “tweaked rules” plus some “high school” versions. They have no boundaries of where to “draw” their kids from. One team picked his kids in November/December for the following year. One team picked his team from three different towns. When I played, those were “All Star Teams” and weren’t permitted to play in the regular season. Evidently these coaches have to win at “all” costs. Humiliating the opponents is not pretty at this level. It creates a lot of problems among the kids.

I hope whoever is “in charge” of this league wises up and makes some changes or move over and let someone else try to run the league.

James Spike Bishop