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I think most North American men at one time in their youth played Little League Baseball. I remember how cool it would be to play in Williamsport, PA."No, it's a long ride", my father said when I asked him, if we could see the Little League World Series in person - just once.
Today, I can still see some sort of pilgrimage to one of baseball's meccas, included right along with Cooperstown, Fenway, Wrigley and Yankee Stadium.
What startled me just a short while ago was when I heard that this year's Little League World Series would use limited instant replay, primarily for home runs.
With this news, this last bastion of pristine amateur sports lost some of its luster. To me, the Little League World Series was a harbinger of a new school year and another chance to be insanely jealous of those lucky - and yes, very talented ballplayers, who made it to Williamsport to compete against the best the world has to offer. Including those great Japanese teams, which I always heard was actually a National team, brought together outside the rules and regulations of Little League Baseball. But what are you going to do about it?
This limited instant replay is just not sitting well with me. Just let the kids play. I mean, the fences are only 200 feet from home plate.
I wonder what led to Little League making this decision. Yes, instant replay is a growth industry in the world of sports. But it just doesn't fit in with other notable Little League firsts i.e.;
- 1947 - Hammonton, NJ becomes the first Little League team outside of PA.
- 1950 First two Little League Teams outside of USA, at each end of the Panama Canal.
- 1953 First Little League World Series on TV, with rookie announcer Jim McKay.
- 1957 Monterrey, Mexico first non-USA team to win LLWS.
- 1967 First Far East team to win LLWS
- 1985 ABC televises its first LLWS on Wide World of Sports
How does, 2008 - first time Little League uses instant replay sound to you?
Call me a traditionalist, but Little League and instant replay should remain mutually exclusive concepts.
Till next time.