By Darren Battle
A lot of All-Stars, the top tier title for the best players in youth leagues are not playing baseball anymore. 13 All-Stars over the past four years decided to end their careers at Brien Mcmahon and put their bats to retirement before their talents could reach its true peak. Baseball, “America’s favorite pastime” was the label for baseball until many kids times of playing passed. Many kids are not watching baseball and involvement in leagues has decreased. According to the Washington Post, in the 1990s there were about 3 million Little League players, but it dropped to nearly 2.4 million in 2012.
The lack of action may impact children disinterest. In Espn's top favorite 30 athletes voted by children, for the first time ever a baseball player was not seen on the list. According to the US Lacrosse survey In 2015 there were about 305,000 high school lacrosse players compared to the 297,000. Chris Druin (‘18), a former varsity baseball player who plans to make the transition into lacrosse from baseball, explained that in lacrosse the physicality and the speed makes lacrosse enjoyable while the patience in baseball is boring: “ The countless hours of reps in practice for a ground ball or two in a game.”
What could make something you love so much stop you from doing what you love? Brendan Huertas (‘17) played baseball for 8 years, made it to a state championship with his all star team and he even threw a no hitter but he gave it up to pursue a career for basketball. His answer to why he stopped playing was the same as Chris: “The speed of high school basketball was more exciting than baseball, and I knew I didn't have a career in baseball.” , When Chris and Brendan were younger they loved the sport and both claimed they had a passion for it. The patience of a minimum two hour game caused two great players to stop.
Many players leave the sport they once loved because they can’t stand the slow pace of a 2 hour game that does not have include a lot of action as there are many swings and misses/. In a hope to decrease the number of youth leaving and not watching the sport. The MLB has taken a look into the big issue of long games and experimented throughout the Arizona Fall league to put an end to wasting time. They use a 20 second timer for a pitcher to throw a pitch or else it's a ball. They also implemented a batter's box rule where a foot has to be in the batter's box during an at-bat. Another rule experimented was a three “time out” limit and a pitcher change timer that gives a new pitcher 2 minutes and 30 seconds to warm up and throw a pitch.