9 Year-Old Little Leaguer "Too Skilled," Banned From Pitching

Jeffrey MannCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2008

Every sports fan harbors dreams of their children's success, wanting their child to be bigger, faster, stronger, or just plain better than other children. Now what if you got your wish, a 9 year-old that can throw 40mph accurately, and other parents decide to ban him from pitching for being "too good."

That's the story for Jericho Scott of New Haven, Connecticut and his family. Officials of his league are even attempting to disband his undefeated team and redistribute the players throughout the league. The last time Jericho took the mound, the other team forfeited and walked off the field.

This sends the worst possible messages about conformity. While his coach and parents speculate that "he is being targeted after turning down an offer to join the defending league champion, an employer of one of the leagues administrators," poor Jericho is not being allowed to enjoy little league.

There will always be varying degrees of skill in any public youth league. By the time little leaguers are 12, the height disparity in the league will be over a foot between the tallest and shortest player. By then Jericho may be throwing into the 70's, if he continues to pitch after this debacle.

At that point in my own little league experience, I began to struggle as a hitter. Wind-ups were the ultimate deception for me. Instead of giving up, or just swinging wildly, I practiced with my father until I was able to pick the ball up and make contact.

Why should Jericho Scott be persecuted for being more talented than anyone else? Shouldn't his talent inspire a stronger competitive urge among the other children to practice and improve?

Have we gotten to the point as a society where we coddle our children to an extent that in the face of adversity the children stop to call foul, unwilling to face failure? Or does this harken back to those original parental dreams of sports greatness for their children being shattered by one child who is truly better?