Little League fields less

Little League in the Grand Valley is on deck for their next season.

However, teams look to be a bit lean due to more kids playing competitive ball.

"Every parent thank God thinks their kid is Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds," said Grand Mesa Little League President Dave Mantlo.

According to Grand Mesa Little League Treasurer Paul Young, in 2010 there were about 5,000 kids who played Little League Baseball across the nine leagues in Western Colorado. As of 2017 there were less than 2,000 little league ballplayers.

"All you need to play on a competitive team is a birth certificate and the cash to play and show up and you're good to go,” said Mantlo “If you get in the game."

At least one competitive ball coach thinks parents need to step up to the plate and be honest about their child’s skill level.

"Some kids aren't designed for either for competitive or they're too good for little league and they're not being challenged enough," said Grand Valley Raptors President Andy Weaver.

Coaches in both leagues say the odds of making a collegiate or pro level team are slim. According to about 10.5 percent of NCAA senior male baseball players get drafted by a Major League Baseball team and approximately 0.5 percent of high school senior boys will eventually get drafted by a pro club.

"You're maybe going to have two or three kids out of that competitive that's going to go somewhere," said Monument Little League President Toby Cruz.

The coaches agree the most important team for you to be on is your child’s.

“I think the kids get out of competitive if they get the quality coaches that they get a little bit higher coaching," said Weaver.

“I think you're going to learn a lot during little league,” said Cruz. “You're going to play more. You're going to meet more friends."

Little League sign ups end March 1. If interested contact Dana Palmer at 970-250-5199.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus