August 9, 1999
For the last seven years, I have had three children involved in the Sno-Valley North Little League baseball and/or softball programs. Thanks should go to the countless volunteers, unrecognized and under-appreciated, but easily criticized.
Thank you, umpires, managers, and coaches for bringing an understanding and appreciation of the game to my three children. Thank you also for your time spent away from your family in training yourselves and our children entrusted to you. As an individual, I could never pay you for its real value.
Your hours spent on and off the field worrying about the children, the game, and what was best for each of them and collectively--no job or career has an income high enough. The scraped knees, bloody noses, comforted heartaches because of the last inning last outs, missed thrown ball, dropped catch, third strike, the tears you've dried--each of you.
I know. I have functioned as a surrogate parent for the feelings of those children so often dumped into your care with only criticism for your efforts. Thank you, for your time, your efforts, your concern and love of the game and the children. Without you, there would be no game.
Before every Little League All-Stars game, the "Little League Pledge" is spoken responsively by each of the players, coaches, and managers. The last line of the pledge is:
"I will play fair and strive to win, but win or lose, I will always do my best."
Allowing my children to quit (particularly when, "I know my son wanted to stay and play") was never my way to encourage my children to do their best.
Steven J. Brouillette, Carnation