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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Good Riddance to Little League

Stotz found the bigness of Little League to be awful in part because it seemed like an exploitative ploy that used kids’ athletic ambitions to fill adult-sized voids. As the league grew and became more corporate, there was less and less opportunity for kids to enjoy the thrill of low-stakes, good-natured organized competition. In his fascinating paper “ ‘A Diamond Is a Boy’s Best Friend’: The Rise of Little League Baseball, 1939-1964,” University of Chicago historian Michael H. Carriere argues that Little League was a force for normative morality in a postwar America terrified that children would fall prey to sexual perversion, juvenile delinquency, and, presumably, the beatnik menace. For children, Carriere argues, Little League served to reinforce social order; it was “a highly supervised activity that engendered in children a healthy respect for law and order, taught proper gender roles, and, most importantly, brought families together.”...

So who cares whether youth baseball really is waning in Newburgh? As long as they can play pickup games, the town’s children will be fine.

People who let their kids play unsupervised pickup games should have their children taken away from them.


 

 

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