Spring is in the Air

Reidy Field Wellesley MABy Ed Nelson

Spring is in the air and it is just about time for the hockey skates and skis to give way to baseball hats, gloves and bats.

So, with that, I took a perusal through the Wellesley Little League (WLL) website and as a parent thought I might share some noteworthy items:

  • All 12-year-olds (who turned 12 prior to April 13, 2013) are entitled to play in the American League no matter how little experience they have.  While each player must attend an evaluation, no 12-year-old can be “cut” or go undrafted. This language is not entirely explicit in the WLL, however, it can be pieced together by noting the following under:

“Wellesley National League Information and League Rules for Coaches

Philosophy – National League is for all 4th grade, 9 and 10 year olds, 11’s not drafted into the American League and 12 yr. old players who have chosen to complete a written waiver from the American League.”

Additionally, the American League Rules state on the WLL website states the following:

“Eligible players- In order to be eligible to be drafted into the AL, a player must not be older than 12 years old on April 13th 2013 or younger than 10 on May 1st 2013…Our rules require that every player who desires to play in the American League MUST TRYOUT to be drafted by an AL team…. Families who prefer a more relaxed baseball environment for their son/daughter, who may not have the strongest baseball skills, can comfortably opt to play in the National League..We ask that you please note this preference at the time of registration for the spring season (by checking the “NL Only” box).  If a player’s registration indicates a preference for NL Only, that player will not be eligible to be drafted into the AL. Parents of 12-year olds opting for the “NL Only” skill level preference box will be asked to sign a waiver which confirms this preference is based upon your request. WLL will mail that waiver to your residence.”

  • The American League has a new commissioner, who is not a coach in the league
  • WLL offers parents and players the opportunity to offer their thoughts and suggestions on improving the program by a special Feedback section on the WLL website

I have never met a kid who loves baseball say he doesn’t want to get better.  I have met coaches who like to coach at the highest levels, even without kids in the program.

As a kid, we never won a lot of games, but we had a lot of fun.  And we learned to a lot about friendship, honesty and respect for the game.  We shook hands with the other team after we played the game.

As they say with every new season and at the beginning of every ballgame, “kids, it’s time to play ball!”

Ed Nelson is a Wellesley resident and youth sports enthusiast with 3 boys who love to play baseball and hockey.  Ed occasionally coaches his sons’ teams and is a proponent for a moderate and balanced progression of kids through youth sports to the acceleration through junior high school, high school and beyond, and the right to play in the town programs afforded to them.