Speeding Up Baseball


I love baseball. It was the first sport my Dad and I shared, on the radio, and in the barnyard in pitch, catch, and bat rounds with him and my first two brothers.

Screams to speed up Major League Baseball games have been heard for some time, now, in today’s version that has extended a regular nine-inning contest to three hours and more.

Allowing a pitcher less minutes, or seconds, to deliver a pitch isn’t the answer to speeding up the game. That’s not fair to the pitcher’s ability to establish his own rhythm.

I don’t think the game should be sped up at all. That’s messing with strategy and the integrity of the game. However if we must succumb to this cry for more speed, a simple solution is at hand. Why not just cut down on the allowed foul balls batters may hit?


Hitting pitches into foul territory entails a mammoth amount of time, and it is hard on a pitcher who has to keep throwing numerous strikes to gain one more for a strikeout.

So, let’s rule that on a potential third strike, batters will be called out if they foul off three pitches in a row. If a batter can skillfully manage to hold off a third strike by fouling off pitch after pitch, why in the dickens can’t he get a hold of one?

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Champions In Sport

Passing the Bat

There’s more about sports at my Champions In Sport blog.


A neighborhood park baseball field

Heart-warming and mysterious at the same time.

That’s the interesting mix seen each year at the MLB ASG (Major League Baseball All-Star Game) and Home Run Derby events.

Heart-warming are the acts of inclusion and conversation conveyed by the players and coaches to the youngsters in attendance. Mysterious is the number of players and coaches who seem to take little, or no, notice of these kids in uniform who participate in the ceremonies.

The youth are the future. They get to bat after the present All-Stars and coaches retire to their memories, canes, and wheel chairs to be applauded not for the present, but only for yesteryear.

These kids are ball boys/girls, towel holders, drink dispensers, star-struck, eager onlookers during Home Run Derby and All-Star Game nights. They take part in something only a few each year are privileged to experience. One day some of them will be the players and coaches. What will they remember when that time comes?

It’s the way of human nature to pass the bat along.

Hats off to the guys who help pass that bat by expressing genuine shares to these kids who look to them with hero worship and who may, in the future, emulate them in the same way they were greeted on these eventful nights.

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


Some Good Guys


There are lots of good guys out there!


Actor Matthew Broderick helped fund and put together the “Never Forget Tribute Classic” basketball event a few months ago. It’s cause — help the children left without a parent after the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York City in 2001. Some of those children are just growing up and struggling to understand their own adulthood.

Sam Hornish, Jr., race car driver from the farming flatlands of Northwest Ohio, recently helped his daughters’ school promote a father/daughter dinner at which daughters were encouraged to learn the right way a man should treat them when they are ready to begin dating.

Also see the article here.

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