Northwest NEWS

July 1, 2002

Editorial

They are making a difference

I would like to thank Woodinville Little League for a season that was great beyond anything measured by a win/loss record.
   Last year I wrote a letter praising some of the outstanding coaching that my son with special needs had received.
   This year he, along with other Little League players, continued to receive top notch coaching from dedicated parent volunteers. It is because of these positive coaches who have taught kids the important values of sportsmanship and acceptance, that our son has had such a fullfilling year.
   Thank you Little League coaches, especially John, Darran, Steve and Joe.
   First, I want to thank the umpires for a great season. These people volunteered countless hours, often in the cold, wind and rain. Besides officiating, they taught and encouraged players.
   Without their positive, professional attitude toward the game and the kids, this season could not have been possible. Thank you umpires.
   My second compliment goes out to the parents who were encouraging to their own kids, their child's teammates and the opposition. Our family felt incredible support by both sides whenever our son came up to bat or made a play in the field.
   These positive interactions left an incredible impression on us. Thank you parents, especially Blue Jay parents.
   My third compliment goes out to all the kids in Little League who play the game the way it was meant to be played, competitively and within the framework of sportsmanship. Again, our son experienced our most important objective for the year. He felt genuinely a part of a team. This team accepted him and cheered for him.
   Our family enjoyed watching his playing highlights this year, but the biggest highlight for me as a parent was sitting outside the dugout listening to his teammates cheer and encourage him. Thank you Little League players, especially the minors Blue Jays.
   There is no better illustration of this sportsmanship than the following example of an opposing player's unselfish actions that left me speechless at the moment.
   During a tight playoff game in a "loser out" situation and a man on third base, my son came up to bat. The pitcher, who knows my son and his disability from school, could have thrown his overpowering pitches right at my son. Instead, he obviously took speed off his pitches in an attempt to give my son a chance.
   This young man recognized sportsmanship to be more important than recording a strikeout. This special action spoke volumes of his character and of the positive adults who have influenced him.
   Thank you, Luke.
   Thank you to all you umpires, coaches, parents and kids who truly understand the important lessons in Little League baseball. Your powerful lessons and examples are paying off. You are making a difference.
   David Shelton, Woodinville