Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I was searching for a league planning to hold a Sandlot Day (when kids organize their own games, with little oversight by adults) when I stumbled on a league that already had. The Philipstown, N.Y. Little League staged its Sandlot Day on May 2.
I spoke with the league president, Eddie Berry. He told me the kids had a blast. About 60 showed up out of 310 in the league.
A few nice touches. Kids were encouraged to use wood bats, provided by the league. A coach brought a snow-cone machine. Most of the players wore shorts and sneakers. Uniforms were not allowed.
Berry said attendance lagged because the Sandlot idea was hard for some of the kids to figure out. "A lot didn’t have any idea what Sandlot Day was all about," Berry said.
I asked the league president about things that had gone better than expected and things that hadn't gotten as well he hoped.
On the plus side, Berry said no one had gotten hurt. That had been a concern for some of the coaches.
On the minus, there were a few complaints from the kids. Not all could be attributed to Sandlot Day, though. It was a very hot day and some players said it was too hot for baseball. Others said the games were boring because they didn't know what the score was.
Berry gently explained, that's Sandlot Baseball.