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The wrath of youth baseball

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TarHeelMan, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. TarHeelMan

    TarHeelMan Member

    Well, the headaches of youth baseball have been under way with postseason play. How do most papers handle it? We usually cover district, region and state....Have seen others basically ignore it until state or beyond
  2. Meatie Pie

    Meatie Pie Member

    If I had worked at a paper that assigned me to cover summer youth baseball, I would have pursued other options much more quickly than I did.
  3. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    I covered a state Cal Ripken Tournament for 10-year-olds that was held here. The locals were bounced in 3 games.

    Every game had to have an MVP and a WOW Award winner for both teams. I don't know how difficult that must have been for the tournament people to come up with those when the losing team was blown out 23-1. Sometimes, it sounded as though they just picked a random kid on the losing team as MVP just because they had to.
  4. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Cross-posting a bit with what I've been posting on the dimwit thread ...

    Been fortunate so far that the coach of one team emailed us after every game (they won) at one regional, plus, one of the local Babe Ruth commissioners is also the assistant boys basketball coaches who call in the scores, so I know I can give him a buzz if I need anything.

    At another regional, the PA announcer is an old newspaper guy who would give me a call after each game our local team played. We're going out to one in a nearby city for the last game of pool play.

    The rest? Crickets ... except for the guy who likes to post the game is starting in 45 minutes in a town about 300 miles from our office. Asked if we could get an email with scores and highlights, and nada. You would think someone would even place the "How come you're covering the 11s and not the 12s?" call.

    What I also don't understand: Is it that difficult for the tournament organizers to update their websites? Even running "Springfield defeated Shelbyville 4-2 in the Cal Ripken Pacific Southwest regional in Podunk." is better than nothing.
  5. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    At my shop we keep strictly to Little League and the various levels. We've usually picked teams up at the district championship level and followed them through states, regionals and any World Series.

    The stories get surprisingly good traffic for the summer months, but high school sports generally do quite well in our market.
  6. Morris816

    Morris816 Member

    The paper I worked at for 14 years, in a town of about 7,000 people, had Little League. Most of the coverage I did was for district tournaments (in person whenever possible) and for any teams that went to state, in person only when they played in the town, which did happen when Smallville hosted two Little League state tournaments and Smallville's teams advanced to each.

    I gave a little coverage when Smallville hosted another state tourney that didn't include Podunk's team, but didn't write more than about who won the championship. Got a good photo out of it, though.

    One year Smallville had a softball team that won its state tournament. Made a big deal out of it because it had been the first time any Podunk team had won a Little League state tournament since the late 1960's.

    Obviously, Metropolis is not going to be as concerned about Little League, unless a Metropolis team reaches the Little League World Series.

    I did do a series one summer about each Little League division, where I talked to coaches about what they do at each division and why they got involved.

    Again, though, youth baseball matters more to Smallville than it will to Metropolis, so cover it accordingly. Exception: If Metropolis sends a team to a national youth baseball tournament that's considered a huge deal.
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Always enjoyed covering youth ball. Makes for some great photos.

    Here's Johnny hitting his first home run, ever.


    Babe Ruth is probably the best. Boys still adjusting to the big field, trying to control emotions etc etc.


    Sorry, son, but that belt's not in play on this field ...


    He needs to work on hitting the curve, too.


    Youth baseball can be fun. Gotta be willing to enjoy it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  8. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    We actively cover Little League Districts, sectionals, states and if a team from the coverage area makes it, regionals. This is relatively new, as we've had teams in the state finals 7-8 of the last 10 years, and before that it was pretty sporadic for a team to get that far.

    For the rest, travel games, softball, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, if they coaches send us the info we put it in our roundup or run a photo. If they don't, we don't worry about it. If people complain, we say, they sent us the info, you didn't, but if you send it we'll run it. That usually does the job.
  9. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    We had districts in three age groups this year. We're no baseball hotbed, but the 11-12 boys in particular was well-organized, fairly crisply played, and thanks to the small field, pretty easy to shoot well. The 11-12 softball was not great quality and the 9-10 baseball was just demoralizing (especially since that tournament was the farthest away), but I view it as something of a mitzvah, I guess.

    I'm in a rural area far and at least the folks there really appreciate it. Beats my alternative this time of year, which is wire copy.
  10. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    We have a team that we picked up in the state tournament with coverage.

    We're making a fairly big deal of the Little League World Series' 75th anniversary. Of course, it's just 60 miles away. The perfect storm of this particular team becoming our first LLWS entry in 24 years and what we're already doing? We'd probably go nuts on it.
  11. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    At my last paper, we covered little league pretty religiously, simply because there was nada going on in the summer. I dreaded it. What was worse was that our city's teams were pretty decent, even a few World Series appearances. We would do features and gamers from the BIG games, but mostly huge photo packages. We even had a little league tab come out every summer, photos of every freakin' team from our city. Of course it sold like hotcakes.

    At my current paper (bigger circulation), we have yet to touch anything Little League in my 2 years here. Sheer bliss.
  12. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    We will not touch anything below high school varsity sports with a 10-foot pole. We get a six-week vacation window in the summer and we use it.

    We will run submitted youth sports photos and briefs, but that is all.
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