Jericho Scott Pitches Too Good
A youth baseball league has banned a 9-year-old, and disbanded his team, because he throws too hard.
Nine-year-old Jericho Scott is a good baseball player — too good, it turns out. The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven [Connecticut] told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.
Jericho’s coach and parents say the boy is being unfairly targeted because he turned down an invitation to join the defending league champion, which is sponsored by an employer of one of the league’s administrators. Jericho instead joined a team sponsored by Will Power Fitness. The team was 8-0 and on its way to the playoffs when Jericho was banned from pitching.
“I think it’s discouraging when you’re telling a 9-year-old you’re too good at something,” said his mother, Nicole Scott. “The whole objective in life is to find something you’re good at and stick with it. I’d rather he spend all his time on the baseball field than idolizing someone standing on the street corner.”
League attorney Peter Noble says the only factor in banning Jericho from the mound is his pitches are just too fast. “He is a very skilled player, a very hard thrower,” Noble said. “There are a lot of beginners. This is not a high-powered league. This is a developmental league whose main purpose is to promote the sport.” Noble acknowledged that Jericho had not beaned any batters in the co-ed league of 8- to 10-year-olds, but say parents expressed safety concerns. “Facing that kind of speed” is frighteneing for beginning players, Noble said.
Isn’t facing up to one’s fears a rather major rationale for youth sports? And the kids are surely wearing batting helmets and other protective gear?
Update: (Steve Verdon) My only conclusion is that little league baseball is some sort of joke. The idea that a kid is too good hence he can’t play just doesn’t make any sense. When my son swam at the Southern California Junior Olympics for 100 meter butterfly one of the kids he was racing against was ranked number one in that nation. The world record holder for the 10 and under age group is, of course, Michael Phelps, it would be like banning him from swimming the 100 meter fly.