My son is courageous. He has always been a fighter, fighting for what he thinks is right, fighting for others, and fighting to overcome hard things. Everyday he fights a little harder to stand up for what is right. When my son was 3 he would head outside in his underwear and shoes and pick up a bat and hit balls off the tee. His determination was amazing. He joined his first baseball team when he was 4 and has never put a bat down since; he is now 12. His determination, teamwork, and leadership skills on and off the field are incredible to watch. His coaches always comment at how hard he works on and off the field.
While we lived in California he played Little League for many years, two years ago we moved to Texas. Where we live Little League does not exist; it is rec ball for beginners or select ball. After much consideration of the Pros and Cons we felt the only way he could continue to grow in the sport of baseball was to allow him to play select ball. Never did we realize this consisted of many tournaments throughout the season, which took up Saturdays and Sundays. We have always supported our son’s dreams, but now we were and still are faced with the challenge of what to do, attend our religious services on Sunday or play baseball.
As I mentioned earlier our son has a desire to always do what is right, and he wants to stand up for that. So each baseball season he has to choose Church on Sunday, or baseball. Hundreds of thousands of kids throughout the country are faced with this same choice, play a sport on Sunday or go to church. The number one reason church attendance is declining is because of kid’s sports on Sunday.
In a Sunday morning game last season I looked at my son who looked distraught and I asked him what was wrong. He said, “I am so happy to be playing the game I love, but Mom this isn’t where I should be, but if I am not here I am letting my whole team down.” The pressure that is put on these kids to chose is not something that they should have to feel.
It has been taught to these kids that if they want to be successful they need to play tournament ball, yet no options are out there to let them do this and stand up for what they believe in. The older these kids get the more tournaments they are expected to play in. Isn’t there a better way? Isn’t there a way so these kids don’t have to decide between two things that they value? I ask you, why? Why do we need to have Sunday tournaments? Why can’t we start Friday night and end late on Saturday? There is no reason why we can’t allow children who love the game to be able to participate and feel good about what they are doing. It is time for us to unite and help our children who struggle with these decisions. I am asking you to reevaluate Saturday Sunday tournaments at the Youth levels. Please join with me in support of all the kids who dream the big dream of playing baseball.