GAME OVER! 9 year old banned from baseball.....TOO GOOD?

[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )

A recent newspaper headline sounded more like a lesson in parenting: Why punish a kid for the crime of being too good?

The kid, in this case, was 9-year-old Jericho Scott, who played summer baseball on a youth team in New Haven, Connecticut.

Jericho’s “crime” is his talent. He’s a pitching sensation who throws an awesome 40 mile-an-hour fastball that’s never hit a batter and rarely misses the plate. But the prodigy pitcher himself was struck out—by adults.

Parents of opposing team members first objected that their kids were unable to hit any of Jericho’s pitches. Strike one.

Then youth league officials wanted to move Jericho up to an older team, but his parents refused. Strike two.

League officials asked Jericho to play any position other than pitcher, but his parents said no again. Strike three.

Game over.

The league disbanded Jericho’s entire undefeated team, and the second place team was declared the season’s winner.

But the post-game show of who’s responsible for the collective benching of so many kids continues to play out across the country, with headlines that sound like…well…more lessons in parenting, like this one from Jericho’s hometown newspaper: Sometimes parent involvement can be way off-base, experts say.

Other adults were criticized, too. “The league obviously felt batters would suffer irreversible shame and humiliation if they had to face Jericho again,” wrote an Ohio sports reporter. “Tell me, how does that prepare kids for the real world? Haven’t we all encountered someone more skilled in our field, and haven’t we all survived?”

Ironically, the only person who stepped up to the plate to accept responsibility was perhaps the least culpable of all: Jericho, now 10 years old. “I feel sad,” he said. “I feel like it’s all my fault that nobody could play.”

Tell us what you think: Can a child be “too good” to play a game, and if so, does he or she have the responsibility to step aside? In the case of Jericho Scott, who’s more responsible for baseball’s abrupt ending—parents…league officials…Jericho?

For information about creating positive sports experiences for kids, log on to Sponsored by Liberty Mutual, the site offers parents and coaches tips, tools, and advice designed to help maximize their kids’ youth sports experience. Parents can also take part in online discussions, asking questions and sharing experiences about how best to help kids apply the life lessons of sports—on and off the field. Because, as The Home Run reminds us, there’s more to the game than whining.


Sharon - posted on 03/13/2010




That is ridiculous. What a steaming load of horseshit!

Hell, my son has lost to undefeated teams in soccer. I didn't bitch. "Well son, no one else scored a goal on them, they're just that good." Natural talent, good coaching, whatever it was ... good on them for being just EXCELLENT. There is something be admired in someone who plays well.

FUCK, I even cheer when the opposing team makes a particularly great play.

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[deleted account]

I agree, Kati......I don't understand why his parents didn't wanna move him up? They obviously have the right not to but if it were me I would want my child to play with other kids with the same skill level or even better to challenge him! Baseball isn't a physical sport so the age and size of the older players shouldn't make much difference!??

Patricia - posted on 03/13/2010




Wow, so much for good sportsmanship....They'll all be sorry when this kid hits it big later in life...

Rosie - posted on 03/13/2010




too bad for the other kids in my opinion. but, i don't see why his parents didn't want to move him up, i think it would help better his skills by giving him more of a challenge. seems like they were being a little stubborn there.

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