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Friday, May 24, 2024

A musician may win an award, an academic receives a grant and an athlete finds him or herself glorified by fans and the media. Jericho Scott, undoubtedly the best pitcher in his New Haven, Conn., league, received his accolades in the form of banishment from the sport of baseball for being "too good."

Scott is 9-years-old.

Accused of throwing the ball "too hard" and "frightening" opponents with his 40-mph fastball, league officials requested Scott move to another position other than pitcher. Giving second base a try for one game, Scott found himself longing to return to the place on the field where he had led his team to an 8-0 record, on pace for the playoffs.

Who can blame the child for wanting back the success he had found through pitching?

Failing to heed the warning of league officials, Scott took the mound in the subsequent game, leading to the opposing team's vacating the field and forfeiting the game.

As a result of Scott returning to his natural position, officials informed Scott's team that they could no longer participate in the league and would be disbanded.

Let me make this clear: Scott has never hit another batter while pitching this season. He may be fast, but he was throwing the ball accurately.

Furthermore, Scott is not another Danny Almonte, a kid with a forged birth certificate who tried to beat the Little League system in 2001. Scott is simply a 9-year-old boy in an 8- to 10-year-old league.

Why must adults deny this young boy the opportunity to play baseball because he was blessed with natural ability?

While at first glance Scott's targeting by league officials stemmed out of concern for the safety of his peers, there have been grumbles that there may be ulterior motives to his expulsion.

Prior to the start of the season, Scott was reportedly offered a spot on the roster of the defending league champions.

He rejected the invitation to instead play on a team sponsored by a local gym, which leads me to assume that he probably just wanted to have fun playing with his friends

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The sponsor of the championship team is, in fact, the employer of one of the league officials who had a hand in disbanding Scott's team.

How sad! Adults perpetuating the age-old adage that baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up. Overaggressive mothers and fathers consumed with winning as they live vicariously through their children and ruin the experience for all.

Why can't these individuals get over themselves and fulfill their duties as positive role models for their children rather than setting poor examples that their kids will surely adopt?

We often hear stories about those who are undeserving being rewarded for whom they know rather than what they've accomplished.

Scott is the antithesis of the child who makes the all-star team simply because his or her father is the coach. We should be celebrating the success of a young, budding star rather than obsessing over the winning and losing that so often robs the fun of Little League Baseball.

Daniel Seco is a first-year journalism graduate student.

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