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It’s the time of year when ESPN/Disney pulls at the heartstrings with its annual Little League World Series coverage. This week during the Southwest Regional Championship Game, ESPN/Disney executives were gifted a red-meat moment from the content gods when a Texas pitcher unleased what appeared to be a breaking ball that didn’t break.
Instead, it drilled the Oklahoma hitter in the head and created quite a scene for 11 and 12-year-old boys where the hitter started grabbing his face, and mothers looked on in horror.
Ah, but this is ESPN/Disney and the Mickey Mouse operation loves nothing more than a moment they can market to the Jeep Grand Wagoneer community.
Take it away, kids.
After getting hit in the head with a pitch, this little leaguer showed a true act of sportsmanship by comforting the pitcher 🥲 pic.twitter.com/AbzXaLL5uz
— ESPN (@espn) August 9, 2022
This is where I have to step in and say there’s way too much hugging it out in youth baseball and it’s brought on by soft moms who cannot possibly be looked upon on social media as having the tough-as-nails kid who doesn’t hug the crying pitcher.
Yes, blame social media. The moms out there (Julie, Keri, Saundra, Amanda, etc.) are social content drug dealers who traffic in soft as baby crap nonsense that their husbands have to deal with or their lives are living hells. They have to do the dumb pumpkin patch photo crap on a yearly basis even though they want to hammer beers and watch football. The kids have perfect hair at the pumpkin patch so mom can then traffic the photos on social media for likes and approval. The moms have those perfect Back to School photos that dads have to go along with or they will never sniff sex in the marital bed the rest of their lives.
This results in Little League kids automatically hugging it out on the mound after a pitch doesn’t break. The kids start crying, they feel bad, that the other kid is crying. All 200 suburban moms in the stands are crying. Their moms are crying.
It’s a terrible trend brought on by moms who are pretty much dealing fentanyl-laced social media content to their girlfriends and old high school classmates.
Thinking back to when I was 11 and 12 at Hardscrabble Little League (RIP) in Clayton, OH, all I could dream about was spending eight hours jumping off the Melody Pool high-dive and making it to Williamsport as a 12-year-old so I could appear on ABC. We were red-blooded American boys with dreams of taking out South Korea or Taiwan.
Those two nations were on a five-year winning streak in 1989 when it was my turn to dream about Williamsport. My team flamed out in a very tough district tournament and I was left rooting for Trumbull, Connecticut, and Chris Drury, who is still a hero to us American boys in their mid-40s.
Now I have ESPN’s soft as Charmin social media team telling me how this Texas pitcher needed comforting.
You know what that kid needs? He needs to watch Chris Drury grab his nuts, dig deep and pitch a masterpiece over Chinese Taipei in the 1989 championship game with a bulldog mentality that eventually got him through 892 career NHL games. Seriously, baseball dads should be finding a copy of Drury’s performance. Take your five-tool, travel ball, specialized in one-sport garbage, and throw it out the window. Study that game played all those years ago. Your kid will never be outworked. He’ll dominate multiple sports and then there’s a very good chance he’ll dominate in life.
As for the modern game, headshots happen, kids.
There’s no need to give your social media content drug dealing mom sappy material for her Instagram Story. You want trophies? You want a business trip to Williamsport to slide down that hill? It requires a little Drury deep down in your soul.
Then, after the battles are fought, you and the crew can talk all about it 35 years later over beers and maybe shed a tear at how simpler life was at 12.
SI Vault: Wonderkid Chris Drury a Little League hero and hockey champ http://t.co/DM1gmoUFSd @SInow pic.twitter.com/NbgR0n9LeQ
— Slickpullahood (@vmwheeler) August 3, 2015