WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

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jim
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Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

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Spider John wrote:
BW23 wrote: I don't push to practice that much more than the regular kid, although I've spent a little money this year on private instruction. Throw in what I've paid for catcher's gear, gloves, cleats, instruction, league fees, batting helmet, bat...it adds up. And while most won't spend what I have (particularly on catcher's gear), it's easily the most expensive compared to basketball (shoes) and football (cleats).

Do teams not supply any equipment any more? When I was a kid in the 1970's the only equipment a player needed was their glove and cleats. Very few owned their own bats. The team bats (wood only), batting helmets and the catcher's equipment were all carried by the manager in an army type green canvas bag. The American Legion in a town 30 miles away had the only travel team in the area. I wonder how many kids would have participated back then if they had that added expense.
Every kid has to have their own bat. In the 1980's Division I college baseball had team bats. Probably a silver Easton with Green lettering - either 33/29, 34/30, or 35/31. Catchers used the team gear. Now, every 9 year old has his own bat, and if he's a catcher he's carrying around his own gear. Crazy.

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fanforever
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Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

Post by fanforever »

funny thing about that was I had fathers that brought their kids $100.00 aluminum bats but never gave the time to teach the kid how to use it

smdh

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cardinalkarp
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Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

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fanforever wrote:funny thing about that was I had fathers that brought their kids $100.00 aluminum bats but never gave the time to teach the kid how to use it

smdh
$100?....LOL, you haven't priced bats lately have you? A decent Easton, Marucci, D Marini, or Louisville Slugger will run you $200 and up (when a manufacture comes out w/ their new top model it will run you $350 up to $450...it's craziness)

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BW23
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Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

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Spider John wrote:
BW23 wrote: I don't push to practice that much more than the regular kid, although I've spent a little money this year on private instruction. Throw in what I've paid for catcher's gear, gloves, cleats, instruction, league fees, batting helmet, bat...it adds up. And while most won't spend what I have (particularly on catcher's gear), it's easily the most expensive compared to basketball (shoes) and football (cleats).

Do teams not supply any equipment any more? When I was a kid in the 1970's the only equipment a player needed was their glove and cleats. Very few owned their own bats. The team bats (wood only), batting helmets and the catcher's equipment were all carried by the manager in an army type green canvas bag. The American Legion in a town 30 miles away had the only travel team in the area. I wonder how many kids would have participated back then if they had that added expense.
No batting helmets or bats are provided for by the league. They may have several batting helmets, but I haven't seen them. The catcher's gear is crap, and it's all falling apart. I actually don't like that the gear I bought is used by everyone on our team that catches, but it's all we have.

I'm lucky that I get a $300+ bat for $50 every two years. Best thing about having good friends with sons older than mine.

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cardinalkarp
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Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

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I'm guessing that catcher's gear is something he'll be able to use for sometime at least. I can imagine that competitive traveling teams can get expensive, although I'm guessing some of the better ones have sponsorships that cover a lot of the equipment and things like that.

Hell, it cost's me $450 to play about 40-45 games a summer which in the grand scheme of things isn't awful given the alternatives (which would be golf, and that's just flat out expensive).

I've bought my fair share of equipment over the past 10 years of playing baseball (I would guess in the 2k range), I've got a couple gloves that will last well past the time I'm playing and have went through a couple helmets and a couple sets of batting gloves a year.

When the BESR to BBCOR bat switch happened a few years back that caused me to fork over a little chunk to pick up a couple decent bats. I've tried playing w/ wood, and any wood bat worth a damn will cost you $50+ and no telling how quick you might go through them. One might last a whole season, or you might break 2 in a f'ing game...so yeah, it's not a cheap sport but I'm not sure any really are other than maybe basketball.

AJ

Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

Post by AJ »

Back in the early/mid 90's when I played pretty much every kid in the town played through 8th grade. It was an expectation, there really wasn't a choice. You provided the glove/cleats and the team manager carried ancient catching equipment and helmets. Anyone with their own bat was a rich kid. There was one traveling team where the same ahole ran it and only his buddies kids got to play.

When I say everyone played, I mean pretty darn much everyone, my dad coached a year and tore all his hair out trying to hide the 5 horrible players on my team, when he had them in and put me in center he would tell me to catch any ball I could no matter where it was hit in the outfield.

My friend coaches today and says they have trouble fielding a single team at every level, this town used to support a 6 team league in pretty much every level.

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Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

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When I was a kid soccer hadn't really taken off yet, so you either had baseball in the spring/summer, or you had nothing. I can't remember the last time I saw a bunch of kids playing a pickup game, or even out in the yard playing catch.

I wouldn't take anything for the time I spent playing baseball, be it league or neighborhood. I wish we'd had the opportunities to play that kids have now, like longer seasons and fall ball. As an adult who values his down time I have become more appreciative of coaches who give their time to coach.

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Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

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Spider John wrote:When I was a kid soccer hadn't really taken off yet, so you either had baseball in the spring/summer, or you had nothing. I can't remember the last time I saw a bunch of kids playing a pickup game, or even out in the yard playing catch.

I wouldn't take anything for the time I spent playing baseball, be it league or neighborhood. I wish we'd had the opportunities to play that kids have now, like longer seasons and fall ball. As an adult who values his down time I have become more appreciative of coaches who give their time to coach.
I had a pretty decent sized back yard as a kid, but not nearly big enough to play baseball so like pretty much every kid who liked baseball we would play medium pitch speed from a spot that was about 40ft from the batters box. We played w/ tennis balls and doctored up wiffle ball bats that were stuffed w/ rags and taped. If you hit one good you would smash it into a huge tree at the far side of the neighbors yard. Played indian ball rules for the most part, since it was just 2 man teams. We tried to play where you ran bases and if the pitcher was able to field the ball cleanly he could fire the ball fire at the batter as he ran. That lasted all of a couple games before I got tagged in the eye by a throw.

Good times, good times.

jim
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Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

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When I was a kid we saw soccer on Wide World of Sports one day, went outside to do some corner kicks because they looked cool, and then realized after 10 minutes that soccer sucks and we never watched or played it again.

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cardinalkarp
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Re: WSJ article about the decline in youth baseball

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jim wrote:When I was a kid we saw soccer on Wide World of Sports one day, went outside to do some corner kicks because they looked cool, and then realized after 10 minutes that soccer sucks and we never watched or played it again.
I think soccer is so popular w/ younger kids is because at that age it takes pretty much zero skill to be able to play. If you suck, you just go out there blend in and run around sucking.

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