Being a spectator is supposed to be about just that: spectating; not getting involved in the action. But, after not getting involved during a recent minor baseball game involving her son, Thamesford parent Leslie Pye decided she wanted to take some action. And her son’s coach felt the same.
The result is a campaign to spread a positive message throughout minor sports in this district.
In an email sent out describing the recent game, Pye reported, “the team we played outplayed and out-skilled us greatly” — something she described for her son as “tough enough, being a 14 year-old kid.”
But she added that “during the game, this team we were playing were yelling things like ‘You suck...’, ‘Bunch of losers....’ and even other words that shouldn’t be repeated in the newspaper.
She described the Thamesford team’s demeanour following the game as “disheartened, embarrassed and ashamed.”
Pye credited the team’s coach for rallying the youngsters’ spirits, piecing together a quick explanation about good sportsmanship, and convincing them — against their initial misgivings — to take to the field after the final out and shake hands and offer the traditional “good game” to their less-than-sportsmanlike opponents.
“But was it really a ‘good game’?” Pye asks in the recent email.
In the days that followed, however, the Thamesford mom was buoyed by the response of her son’s coach and the town’s Minor Ball Association. The Association president — surely just a regular parent, trying to do their part to make life better for their kid and their friends — sent an email to all Association coaches, describing the game and proposing an idea.
“It would be really nice to have a banner or signage of some sort, maybe attached to the booth, that has a quote on it that speaks to something positive that will get the kids thinking,” the president’s email offers. Similar messages are proposed for the two dugouts. “One idea is ‘It is your response to winning and losing that makes you a winner or a loser’.”
But they want the message to reflect the community’s thoughts. So they’re asking for submissions. The email says they’re looking for a message “that will have some bearing on how the game of baseball SHOULD be played — ie: good sportsmanship . . . Likely we are looking for something that is short and catchy (and can fit on a sign).”
Pye has kids who also play hockey with the Thamesford Minor Hockey and Zorra Girls hockey associations. She hopes the messages — once selected — could also be adopted there. And after that, who knows, maybe her positive message — and the ones being promoted by her son’s coach and Ball Association president in light of an unpleasant on-field experience — will spread to other towns and cities.
All submissions should be sent to Pyel.firstname.lastname@example.org, and must be in no later than Saturday, June 15.