Monday, June 22, 2009

Dramatic comeback at the Tee Ball World Series

In case you missed it, another exciting finish last week at the Tee Ball World Series That's right- Tee Ball World Series.

T.J. McCants, 7, slugged a home run. This capped a nine-run rally. And in the championship game, Cantonment upended Northeast Pensacola Blue, 31-29. That's right - 31-29.

Let's be fair. This isn't a true World Series. Teams don't come from Tokyo and Kuwait packing their batting tees and juice boxes. It's an event hosted by a religious organization in Milton, Florida. The teams entered are local. There is no sponsor deal with Coke nor a television package on ESPN - not yet anyway,

But it has been going on for 40 years. And locally, it is a big deal. The Pensacola News Journal assigned a staff photographer and, last Friday, ran a story about the championship game that ran 452 words. Stories about City Council meetings get less coverage in my hometown paper these days.

The big story at this year's Tee Ball Classic was a decision to exclude seven-year-olds from future tournaments. It turns out the veteran ballplayers were hitting too many home runs. As tournament director Tod Brainard told the Pensacola newspaper, "We're trying to get it back to a defensive framework instead of having so many home runs. That's the key in baseball: backing up your pitcher. It's incumbent to stop the ball in order to stop the runs. If everyone's hitting home runs then you're just chewing your glove."

Well said.

In next year's series, players will be 4, 5 and 6. So, I'm guessing, no night games.

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