• Sumo

By Ken Reed

From the “People Can’t Really Be This Cruel and/or Stupid Can They?” department, two youth baseball coaches in New Hampshire reportedly said they would instruct their players to bean a girl in the Oyster River Youth Association (ORYA) in the hope that action would intimidate the girl into leaving the baseball league.

According to a Foster’s Daily Democrat story, Dan Klein, the father of the girl referenced, “alleges that two coaches said they would instruct a player to ‘bean’ Klein’s daughter — strike her in the head with a baseball during practice — in order to intimidate her into leaving the baseball program. The conversation allegedly took place during a draft meeting to assign players to team rosters.”

Klein’s daughter has been part of the ORYA baseball program since 2012, previously without incident.

“We are now beginning a formal investigation into the incident as per our policies and procedures and will provide a summary followup to all our stakeholders,” wrote ORYA Chair Ben Genes in an email.

To date, despite the publicity surrounding this incident, Klein’s daughter hasn’t been intimidated into quitting baseball. In fact, she’s reportedly looking forward to the season.

Kudos go out to this brave little girl. As to the “adults” who allegedly cooked up this evil sexist plan, all I can say is grow up and make your way out of the dark ages.

Baseball isn’t inherently a sport for males. Major League Baseball (MLB) and USA Baseball recognized that fact in recent years — albeit slowly — and have created additional opportunities for girls to play baseball. For example, the two baseball organizations have started a Trailblazer Series, which is a girls-only baseball tournament. They have also added a girls baseball player development camp to their Breakthrough Series in 2018, to be held in Vero Beach, Florida.

Good for them. Here’s hoping that Genes, after appropriately dealing with this ugly situation, shares this information with all the coaches and parents in his youth baseball league and encourages them to get with the times.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans

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