Baseball for kids: Created by moms? |

Tracy Lee Curtis is a humorist, writer and speaker. She writes family humor for the Charlotte Observer. Her column appears each Sunday.
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Baseball for kids: Created by moms?

By ObserverTracy on 09/29/09 12:00

I have a theory baseball was created by moms.

Like one day some gals were sitting around and needed a game their kids could play in the backyard. They kept the game simple and the equipment minimal. And since they were making it up, they just used day-to-day mom terms to define the game.

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For instance, the ol', "I'm gonna give you to the count of three to make something happen." That's why you get three strikes before you're out. And you gotta run three bases before you run home.

The "called game" came about because that's what probably happened. Geraldine has to stop the game when her son Rupert deliberately hits little Kermit in the stomach with his bat. She hollers "game over!" And from then on any mom could call a game as she saw fit. Or if she was ready for a drink. (Out of which came the terms "double" and "triple.")

I'm sure rowdy kids pretty much helped create the baseball glossary as we know it. Kids who pinched and hit inspired "pinch hitters." Same thing with kids who pinched and then ran off - "pinch runners."

"Designated hitters" are the moms themselves who have the authority to spank. And a "switch hitter" is code for Dad who takes over when Mom just can't bring herself to do it.

Trying to get kids up, dressed, fed and out the door on time probably led to "bunt," "curve ball," "change up," and "blown start."

"Batting average" - I think that was thrown in there to be fair. Because not everybody is batting a thousand like us moms.

They missed the ball on some things though. Like making the game nine innings. We now know that a game this long disrupts homework, dinner and bedtime. But back then Rupert begged him mom to let them play to nine. And so it was. And we really should be stretching after every inning, not just the seventh. By then we're not only stiff, but we've had seven rounds of school boundary discussions.

But they did come up with machine pitch. You know us and appliances, why do it yourself when a machine can do it for you?

And the best part - they made men run the whole thing. Baseball is organized, scheduled and coached by our guys. And, ah! The dugout. My favorite part of the game. I always get out my special binoculars just to watch the dads try to corral the kids and get them ready for the field: "Get your hat! Where's your bat? Tie your shoe. Who are YOU?"

And the fact that the whole point of the game is to get home? Such a mom thing.

And then they came up with "stealing home." They just wanted to make sure anything our boys need to do to get home is gonna be legal in their book.

And if you're not totally convinced a baseball DIAMOND? C'mon!

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