HDL REWIND CLASSIC
For everyone who is currently playing or has played in the HDL, I hope you relate and agree that much of these points are the perspective the HDL has aspired to, for as long as I can remember. So when you get caught up in that ‘blood & guts’ mentality, remember who you are and why you and your other members want to be part of this glorious experience.
Long Live Baseball!
Our Perspective (Adopted from the Manatee Baseball League in Tampa Florida)
We believe that there are at least 2 types of baseball programs. One is a CLUB program (which we MOST DEFINITELY aspire to be). The other is a COMPETITION programs; which we are NOT and do not pretend to be.
As a baseball program, we are MOST IMPORTANTLY friends who love the game and want to take field with friends who love that game as we play the game. We do NOT have false expectations about how good we are, or how good we can become or anywhere that baseball will take us. For almost all of us, those days are long gone forever and the game exists to serve our friendships. There are those who say that this is not “real” baseball, but as any serious student of the game can tell you, the adult game originated among friends to enjoy their friendships and get exercise. “Blood and Guts” baseball only evolved from big egos and greed. For us, the biggest “error” we can make on the field is to do something that insults our friends, or demeans our friends, or impairs their enjoyment of the game.
That is not to say that there is not a place for COMPETITION baseball where the quality of play is the highest priority (which is not the same as “blood and guts” baseball which should be reserved, if at all, for professional baseball). It is just that “that“ place is NOT “our” place!
Our players should not “goof off” on the baseball field. They should have enough respect for the game and their fellow club members to take it “seriously, although not TOO seriously”. Those players with “keener” competitive instinct” need to respect the fact that not all players play for the same reason. We ask that OUR players not only respect those differences, but also REVELLE IN THOSE DIFFERENCES and learn from those differences.
When each individual player paid their league fees and joined the Team they also incurred obligations. You owe the Team your maximum effort on every play. You owe the Team your maximum effort chasing down every fly ball hit over your head in the outfield. You owe the Team your maximum effort chasing down every bad hop ground ball that bounces off you and out of your reach. You owe the Team your maximum effort chasing down every throw or pitch that gets by you. You owe the Team ninety feet of maximum effort four times per game running to first base.
And as a Team-player, each one of us owes his team-mates respect and encouragement. Each one of your teammates is going to take a called strike three or strikeout swinging at a bad pitch. Each one of your teammates is going to watch a ground ball go right between his legs. Each infielder is going to throw a ball out that’s of the reach of the first baseman. Each outfielder is going to misjudge a fly ball and have it go over his head or drop right at his feet or bounce out of his glove. Each pitcher is going to walk batters and throw pitches to the backstop. Each base runner is going to get put out after making a base running mistake.
And we are likely to see all those things happen on game day. And when they do happen, we owe that player the courtesy of not noticing. That player knows exactly why it happened a second after it happened. As his teammates we will need to pick-up that teammate and play on.
If needed, Team Management will counsel that player with their unbiased constructive criticism.
Some of Manatee Baseball League Sayings that HDL agrees with:
– Baseball relationships are much more important than baseball scores.
– The game is meant to be enjoyed, play by play and inning be inning, by BOTH teams.
– Baseball should strengthen our souls as it strengthens our minds and bodies.
– Take the game seriously, but yourself much less seriously
– We are not going to the pros and we do not want to go to the hospital.
– We all have to show up for work tomorrow morning.
– We want every player to be able to arrive at the field saying, “My team can win and I can help!”.
– If God wanted baseball to be played with metal bats, then He would grow metal trees. 😉
– Dress and act like you respect the game, your team, your teammates and the other team.
– If I look “good”, then it will be the third inning before anyone realizes that I have no talent!
– Why do we have special rules? It’s because that is what friends do for friends.