By Ken Reed
Yes, there’s a lot of greed in Major League Baseball. There’s also a lot of win-at-all-costs thinking that zaps the spirit out of what is a great game at its essence.
But there’s also a lot of good stuff.
One of the best parts about baseball is the game’s ability to forge strong, lasting relationships with family members and friends. It also might be the best sport going for strengthening bonds across generations.
Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post recently wrote an excellent feature article on the power of baseball to connect people — often for life.
Hochman writes about how a love of baseball, expressed in handwritten letters to and from his parents, helped a soldier endure a military stint in Afghanistan.
“So many of our parents taught us to love baseball, to believe in baseball,” writes Hochman.
“But today, more than ever, families split apart, with the children living far from home. As such, the text message, the instant message on Gmail and even the handwritten letter, these are what keep our bond stitched, like a Rawlings.”
Hochman went on to write about the baseball bond between a daughter and her father that’s lasted for decades. And he provides a glimpse of a mother and son’s love of everything related to the San Francisco Giants.
But he ends with a touching and powerful portrait of his relationship with his own dad, and the important role baseball has played in maintaining and enhancing that relationship.
“This is our 15th summer in different cities, Dad and me,” wrote Hochman.
“But over the years, we’ve texted about baseball on flip phones and iPhones, and we’ve instant messaged on America Online and Gmail.
“Baseball just does something to Dad and me. It’s our thing. We’re baseball guys. We’re romantics. We allow this game to overtake us. We give it unlimited access to our hearts and souls, acknowledging that there are indeed going to be some downs — but if we make it through those, it’ll just make the ups seem that much higher.”
When sport is driven by the soul instead of the ego, it can be good, very good.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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