Dear Athletic Support: We were at a travel baseball tournament this past weekend and something happened that flat out floored me.
The other team had individualized “walk-up” music. Now, if you’ve been to MLB games, or even college or high school games, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Each player has a specific song that plays over the loudspeaker when he comes up to bat. It’s kind of like boxers or wrestlers playing certain music when they enter the ring. But this felt different. It felt wrong.
I mean, these were eight-year-old boys. I can’t describe why, exactly, I felt this way. Maybe it was because of the boys’ age? Like, we shouldn’t have to make baseball into a dance party in order for kids to enjoy it? It should just be fun. It wasn’t like that when I was a kid. I know that. I also wasn’t very fond of the music selection. Some of the boys had hip-hop songs that, although they’d been censored, I still didn’t think were appropriate given the setting. Long story short, what do you think about “walk-up” music in youth league baseball?
— This Dad Don’t Dance
Dear Dance Dad: Straight up, your question reminds me of an old man shaking his fist at the sky. What’s the man shaking his fist at? What’s got him so upset?
I don’t know.
Just like I don’t know why you care if kids are dancing on their way to the batter’s box.
The secret to youth sports — the overarching goal, really — is to make sure the kids are having fun. And it sounds to me like these boys were having a blast.
As far as the inappropriate music, I can’t speak to that because I wasn’t there to hear the specific songs. I will say, though, that I hope you’re not lumping all hip-hop music as inappropriate.
That’s not cool, man.
Dear Athletic Support: I just wanted to write in and let you know everything was good. My son is six. He plays baseball, soccer, and golf. I coach him in every sport, and we have a real good time. We’ve yet to have any parent drama with any of his teams. It’s just a whole bunch of fun. Most of the people who write in seem to have a complaint, but I just wanted to let folks know there are still good youth leagues out there. There are still good parents and coaches and kids. Thanks.
— A Cut Above
Dear Cut: Thanks for sending that along. Now more than ever, we need to shed a light on the good, especially when it comes to kids.
Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. His debut novel, Don’t Know Tough, is available wherever books are sold. Send in questions for “Athletic Support” by using the “Contact” page at elicranor.com.