These were the words of wisdom said by one of the parents to his 7-year-old son at the baseball game the other night. My mom and I stared at each other in disbelief. This man (who was not in shape himself) would most likely be out run by most of the “broads” I know. If this is the advice he shares in public, I can’t imagine all his son learns at home!
But this post is not about this man’s chauvinistic remarks, no it is a post pondering this question…
WHEN DID PLAYING BASEBALL BECOME SO EXPENSIVE????
For a bit, let me channel my inner old Scrooge as I rant and complain about the cost of the sport these days. Back when I was a kid (waaaaay back) and I played softball, the only expense was the registration fee and the cost of our own baseball glove. Some of the rich kids had batting gloves or cleats but the majority of us just had to purchase a glove from the local Ames.
Everything else was provided for us. The polyester uniforms (shirts, pants and stirrups) were recycled year after year and we got to keep our “really cool” foam hats. The bats, batting helmets (we wore our hats under them) and the like were all provided by the town and the sponsors of the league. They were beat up and used year after year but they worked just fine for our purposes.
Now a days, not only do you have to purchase the glove and pay the registration fee….you have to spend a WHOLE LOT MORE! In our league, kids are given a shirt and a hat that they get to keep as part of their registration fee. The rest is up the parents to provide. The kids are required to have their own bat, batting helmet, baseball pants and the majority of them all have cleats. I guess cleats are important in Instructional League, though my son is going to have to try to make do without them.
And how do you carry around all this crap?? In your fancy baseball bag. Kids had baseball bags in T-ball last year and I thought it was crazy. Now I see why they are important after lugging our stuff around in a grocery bag for a season, it is a zippered place to keep all this stuff.
Oh and don’t get me started about team snack?!?! When I was a kid, we went home, had some water and went to bed. Once a year my dad, the coach, would take us out to ice cream on his dime. That was a real treat and the coaches did this last year in t-ball, which the kids LOVED. But aside from the ice cream trip, now kids have chips, cookies or a Popsicle and then a juice drink after every game. Each parent takes a turn providing this “healthy snack” for a game, another cost 😉
So how much does it cost to play baseball in my town??? About $200 if you sign up early for baseball, buy lower end equipment and don’t spring for cleats, fancy socks or a batting glove. I know many of you think that is not a big deal but all these sports and activities add up and I only have 2 kids. Imagine a family with 3+ kids.
Thank you for my rant, I feel a little better now. This “broad” is off to buy baseball pants, as my son was the only one without them the other night. Oh and his baseball bag should be here tomorrow so we can retire the grocery bag.