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Letter: Saving Upper Valley Baseball

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Don Mahler’s June 16 column, “Long-Distance Call,” about the dimensions of the local Little League fields. As an umpire who works the local Cal Ripken League games, I am deeply concerned that those players who wish to continue playing and pursuing their baseball potential are at a crossroads and that baseball may lose these potentially great players because of a lack of appropriate facilities.

To be on these fields and to see the passion and enthusiasm that each player shows from the first pitch to the last is just remarkable. Baseball is not a sport of superstars, and it takes every player on a team’s roster working together to achieve collective goals.

Sportsmanship is displayed win or lose. To see an opposing team’s player reach out and help someone up after a slide into a base, or watch a player congratulate a teammate scoring a run, or witness a big defensive play and to see the high fives and the big smiles as players come off the field is something that I truly value.

I understand that baseball here in the Upper Valley is facing an uphill battle in trying to keep players interested in the game. I just hope that maybe some of the lessons I learned as a player on those fields can continue to be taught to the younger generations of Upper Valley baseball players.

Sasha Handelman

Norwich

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Don Mahler: Long-Distance Call; Baseball Must Be Flexible to Attract New Players

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

To be blunt, baseball is killing its young. First, the game’s officials and team owners have sold their soul to the television gods, supporting a postseason schedule that makes viewing your favorite team virtually impossible for baseball’s young fan base. But losing kids from watching the TV isn’t nearly as bad as losing kids from playing on the diamond — …