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Youth Baseball Games:
Have We Been Duped?

Youth baseball games: Did you know that the inventor of Little League, Carl Stotz, was ousted from the organization in 1956? What was the reason why he left?

“The reason for the messy spilt was Stotz’s alarm with the Little league’s distressingly big ambitions.”[1] Mr. Stotz goes on to say, “I discontinued my connection when I saw the way things were going. The national organization with headquarters here in Williamsport began developing into a Frankenstein. I became utterly disgusted. Originally, I had envisioned baseball for youngsters strictly on the local level without national playoffs and World Series and all that stuff.[2]

According to Mr. Stotz, his vision of youth baseball games never came remotely close to what it has turned into today. Little League and all the other similar cloned leagues are national corporations that grift off all the kids and families that voluntarily participate in this venture. For generations we have been duped into these national playoff All-Star sales pitch.

“Big-People” have made it a status symbol to have their child picked to be on the all-star team. Parents often equate their ability as a parent to their child’s success on the ballfield. Coaches now go to great lengths to play ‘Win-at-all-costs’ approach and philosophy disregarding any concern for player development, player enjoyment, and kids being able to just “play”.

The baseball Hall of Famer, Bob Feller, described what he saw in youth baseball leagues like Little League in his book Bob Fellers Little Blue Book of Baseball Wisdom.

He wrote, “The jury is still out on whether it builds ballplayers. The biggest problem I have with it is the pressure to win. That pressure is not placed on the kids by themselves, but rather by the coaches, parents, and organizers (Big-people).

Feller goes on to say...

I say let the kids play, enjoy the game, make friends, and learn ideas of teamwork, humility, good sportsmanship, and perseverance. After all, if children associate baseball with parental or coach disappointment or ridicule, then their interest in the sport will be severely diminished. No child wants to be yelled at while playing a game!”[3]

The Youth Baseball Game System Has a Bunch of Flaws

Why Do We Play So Many Games?

The youth baseball world has duped us into believing this current and past system is the best method to provide baseball for our kids. What do you think?

  • Is playing two and three games per week without practicing or only having one practice conducted by poorly trained coaches the best method for player success and enjoyment?
  • Is the main focus to hurry up and get the regular season over so we can get the all-star playoffs started? 
  • Would kids like playing baseball better if we moved back toward a more freelance, sandlot style game? 
  • Would the kids love to come to practice if the practices were more fun than the games? 
  • Would the kids enjoy the game more if we did not have “Big-people” yelling at them all the time? 
  • Do families really have to drive hours away, spend huge amount of time and money over an entire weekend just play 4-5 baseball games instead of staying close to home and playing High Tempo Baseball style scrimmage for two hours.

I think we have all been duped. I think we all have been deceived to believe that the Little League Model (multimillion-dollar corporation) is the best way to conduct youth baseball. What it is good for is making many executives in Little League very rich along with their parent TV partners and MLB.

The Travel Ball youth baseball game model is another massive money grab for all the people, municipalities and organizations who grift off this system from gullible, brain washed ‘Big-people’.

Surely Youth Baseball Is Not Trying to Profit Off if Us?


So, we can all continue being duped and participate in a youth baseball system that maximizes profits and churns out untrained coaches and unsatisfied players: OR we can pivot to better options.

We keep telling ourselves, “Oh it’s Little League (or other cloned league names), well it must be good for our kids. They wouldn’t exist if this was harmful to our kids. Travel Ball must have our best interests at heart, right?”

These youth leagues and travel ball tournaments could care less about you and your kids. This is just a business model so someone can make money. I have nothing against making money. But, if you believe these youth baseball outfits are looking out for your best interest, well I think you have been duped.

Look at how the TV channels use youth all-star players to provide free talent to televise their games for them to make huge profits. Someday the ‘Big-people’ are going to figure this out and demand their kids be compensated for providing free talent for the cable TV channels.

“But Dave, this is all we have. It is play in the local Little Leagues or their cloned leagues or play travel ball. We are trapped in this system since these are the only options in my area.”

I agree, most of us are trapped. This is why I have developed High Tempo© Baseball Systems. This truly is a better option and allows the ‘Big-people’ the option to break away on their own. Basically, it is like transitioning from public schools to homeschool. It is taking control of your kids baseball experience and not participating in what the world tries to sell us on.

  • Keep fighting your local league boards to change.
  • Expose and introduce the administrators to High Tempo© Baseball
  • Campaign to add more high-quality High Tempo© Practices with trained coaches.
  • Play less games.
  • Play more competitive High Tempo© Scrimmages
  • Join your local league Board of Directors
  • Start a Second Season: alternative to All-Stars
  • Have your local league play unaffiliated and make their own by-laws.

There are a few ways to change your local youth baseball system. Choose one or two of these strategies in your local baseball leagues and teams.

[1] Until it Hurts: Americas Obsession With Youth Sports, Mark Hyman, 2009, Beacon Press, Pg.12


[2] Ibid

[3] Bob Feller’s Little Blue Book of Baseball Wisdom, Bob Feller with Burton Rocks, 2009 Random House, Pg. 72-73

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