OVERTIME: Little Leaguers don’t need pay

Photo by MCTThe Little League World Series is a great experience for young baseball players and a fun time for those watching at home.

There are thousands of people, both in and out of America, who can relate to the thrill and heartbreak caused by participating in sports as a child. The Series is a refreshing deviation from the professional games shown on ESPN.

However, there are those, such as Yahoo! Sports writer Dan Wetzel, who want the LLWS to bear a stronger resemblance to Major League Baseball by paying those who play in it.

Any decision to pay the children who play in the LLWS would be a wrong one. There is absolutely no reason to pay kids, ranging from ages 10-13, who are taking part in a game that their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents previously played just to be outside.

I realize these kids are on a huge stage that is making a boatload of money. According to Wetzel, Little League Baseball made $5.6 million off of the LLWS plus another $3.7 million from broadcast rights fees.

LLB’s partner in moneymaking, ESPN, is a $38.1 billion company.

However, just because there is money to be given away does not mean it should be.

I am sure there are thousands of out-of-work Americans who would forge the date on their birth certificate, grab a glove and run to Williamsport, Pa., (where the LLWS is held each year) if they knew there was a wad of cash waiting for them every time they played in a televised game.

This apparently excess money can and should go toward more important things. It should not go to kids who, once they got paid, would believe that making money in life is as easy as playing baseball.

Many kids grow up dreaming of becoming the next big athlete. The cold, hard truth is that a career in athletics is not likely for a great majority of children.

Photo by MCT

This includes the ones who play in the LLWS. More of those kids will end up with a desk job than a professional sports career.

So why should each child be handed hundreds or even thousands of dollars after each televised game?

Because the amount of money a family spends to put its child through the tournament is a financial blow? Ideally, LLB or ESPN would cover travel costs for all of the kids who play in the Series.

Plus, parents are willing to pay ludicrous amounts of money to see their child’s dreams come true. It is not a negative, it is just a fact.

Because it will help put the child through college? It certainly could help, but there is no telling how much said child will need to get through college in the future, or how his family might treat the funds before that time comes.

There is no need to pay 12-year- olds to play baseball, no matter where they are from. Finding a way to offset the costs of competing for the LLWS crown is a different topic, but writing checks on the side for players should not occur.

Kids do not need to be confronted with delusions. Let them play ball and then go to school to get prepared for the real world. Let them play the game they love for exactly that reason.


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