In another sign the apocalypse is upon us, parents got into a full-on brawl at a baseball game … between 7-year-olds. No, that is not a typo, 7-year-olds. One side got upset by a call made by the umpire, a 13-year-old. Yes, a 13-year-old.
Four people were cited for disorderly conduct and fighting and police are seeking the public’s assistance to identify more people who were involved. The fight even took place on an elementary baseball field. I’m trying to figure out who the actual adults were and who the children were. Apparently the kids left the field as soon at the fight start. I’m leaning toward the 7-year-olds and umpire being the adults here.
“These parents and coaches decided to take it out on each other,” Lakewood police spokesman John Romero told Denver NBC affiliate KUSA. “It’s very sad, at the very beginning of the video, you can see kids running off the field as the adults start fighting and punching each other.”
While these things have been happening for a while, it never ceases to amaze me how juvenile adults can be. How many of these kids are going to be turned off by baseball because the parents decided that a game – where they might not have even kept score because of how young the kids are – was so important that an umpire’s call was as good of an excuse as any to fight someone.
What do you think the odds are the 13-year-old wants to umpire again? I’m sure he does it for a part-time summer job, and this would be a good learning experience on so many level under normal circumstances. Now, it might be the reason he doesn’t umpire a game he likes.
There are so many questions that crop up whenever you see something like this happen, but they all come back to this: When did parents get so bat shit crazy? I was a sports editor for the local paper about 20 years ago. There were always loud, obnoxious idiots but they stayed in the stands and more intelligent fans and parents eventually shouted them down. Now, the mob mentality reigns supreme.
You used to be able to question at times whether it was alcohol-induced idiocy. Alcohol might have been a factor with some in this case, but you have to believe it was just idiots showing there true colors.
These are 7-year-old kids for crying out loud. They are just trying to learn the game and they should be encouraged to love the game for the game itself. They need to be allowed to learn the game and develop without fear of their parents embarrassing them.
And the 13-year-old can’t be expected to be perfect when umpires at the professional level make mistakes all the time. He is still learning, too, and needs to be encouraged the same way the young baseball players are.
Parents are supposed to be supportive and encouraging, especially at this age. Not only are the kids impressionable, but they also can easily find something else to get excited about when confronted with a bad experience. The parents blew it big time with their brawl.
The grown-ups are supposed to be role models, but they fell short – way short this time. Maybe they should look at their kids, who walked away when a fight broke out.
Steve Murch is a former managing editor and award-winning columnist for The Alpena News. He’s a lifelong Michigan resident, a broken and defeated fan of the Detroit Lions and a forever optimistic fan of the Detroit Tigers. His column will appear most Thursdays.