There is no sport that evokes more nostalgia and longing for the past than baseball. Fifty years ago, there were so many kids playing it both in cities and in rural areas that it was considered a “national pastime.” All you really needed back then was a can of paint to outline the field, a bat and a ball. The history of this sport goes way further back, however, and it is as rich as the sport was loved in the past.
The rise and decline of baseball
Created before the American Civil War, the first written account of a baseball game dates back to 1792 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The first professional baseball league was born in 1871, and by the beginning of the 20th century, most big cities in the east coast had their very own professional team. It wasn’t until the Jazz Age — the 1920s — that baseball really came to life as a beloved sport that attracted crowds to the games. Iconic names such as Babe Ruth, Ted William, Lou Gehrig and Cy Young marked the golden age of baseball with their celebrated home runs and titles won for their teams.
Unfortunately, baseball has not been the same since the 1960s. This decade brought the end of the golden age for the sport, and American families started paying more attention and carefully following other sports. Nowadays, American football and basketball have stolen the spotlight from baseball and are the ones generating the biggest profit margins and ushering in the most advertisers. It seems like baseball has given us all it’s got — or has it?
Youth baseball leagues
Just like what happened with professional baseball leagues, the youth leagues also lost a lot of ground when it comes to participation. The number of kids wanting to play baseball went down and some feared their children and grandchildren would never get to enjoy the sport like they did. Fortunately, things are starting to slowly, but surely, turn around.
There are dozens of leagues aimed at kids spread all over America. From the legendary Little League, to the Pony League and to the Babe Ruth League, kids have plenty of options to choose from to give their first steps in the sport.
Despite all having different names and being based in different areas of the United States, they have one thing in common: to look after the kids in the community. In many cities and towns, sports are the most effective way to keep kids out of harm’s way, and it was with this idea in mind that the youth baseball leagues were founded.
Right now we’re seeing a change in the course of history when it comes to youth baseball. A few years ago, encouraged by the lack of players wanting to play the sport, the Major League Baseball (MLB) started creating programs to combat this problem. We are now seeing a slow but steady rise in the number of children signing up to play this sport, just like their parents and grandparents did.
If this unexpected change carries on at the same pace, baseball might be back in American houses with the passion that it had in the 1920s.
Getting started with youth baseball
If you or a child in your family is interested in joining a youth baseball league, the first thing you should do is research about leagues in your area with open registration. The internet will be your friend on this quest, as most youth leagues have a website or at least a phone contact you can call to ask for information.
The next step to take is to get all the necessary equipment, which fortunately isn’t a lot.
• First, you will need to buy a ball and a bat. There are bats made with children in mind, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the perfect one at a sports store or online. Same goes for balls and gloves, depending on how committed you are to the game and how long you intend to play it, there are plenty for sale online and in physical stores.
• Secondly, a very important item you don’t want to forego is a batting helmet. This will protect a baseball player’s head from balls that might come flying towards their head and prevent head injuries.
• Now, for every kid’s favorite part: the uniform. There is a staggering amount of jerseys, pants, caps and socks for sale online and in retail stores. However, we sell some of the best little league uniforms out there. From block-colored tees to long-sleeved shirts with graphics on them, you are certain to find exactly what you are looking for on our online store. Whether you’re looking for a little league uniform or a little league jersey for a four- or sixteen-year-old player, you are going to get the ideal fit and look on our store.
I am confident that baseball will make a comeback. After all, with such a rich history and memorable players, it more than deserves it. With youth baseball leagues on the up-and-coming, this sport is bound for a triumphant return to America’s screens and hearts.