Letter: Rather than criticize, be a Little League volunteer

Don't criticize, volunteer for Little League

To the editor:

I am responding to the Monday, June 27, letter to the editor in which Joe Diver accused the Dalton-Hinsdale Little League of lacking good leadership and ignoring a subjective break in the league's code of conduct.

I would like to first remind Mr. Diver and any other parent or spectator who frequently complains, rather than help, what volunteers actually do. There are approximately 350 hours each week put into volunteering between managers, coaches, and umpires for our Little League. This is not counting the added hours from the board members and committee members, as many of these individuals hold more than one of these duties.

The people who volunteer sacrifice much of their time to help teach our young children about self-esteem, respect and playing fair. They sacrifice home life, work time, and countless other activities to support youth athletics and our communities adolescence.

There is nothing glorifying or easy about umpiring Little League games. You have managers, coaches, and spectators constantly judging your calls. On the day/days in question by Mr. Diver, the umpire was experiencing just that, disagreement over calls on balls and strikes. This umpire did what he needed to do and got the game under control by making it clear that it would not be tolerated. From that inning on, the game went smoothly. The umpire and coaches talked after the game and all was well.

The league did an investigation when the complaint was brought to us and it was found that there was no wrongdoing with our umpire's decision. The umpire in question has been active in our community coaching, refereeing, and being a president in a league of his own. He has been an asset to Dalton for over 35 years. There should be an article written praising him.

Unfortunately, people like Mr. Diver take events like this and try to make matters worse, rather than helping in a community. It is very easy to cast judgments from the sideline. I encourage people who truly care about their community to step up in a positive way and sacrifice some of their time and make a difference rather than complaining.

Thank you to all the volunteers who make this community a better place to live in. Without you, there would be no youth sports or other activities for our children in this community! We should use the editorial page to highlight these people, rather than try to demoralize them. I encourage the public to write in about a volunteer who has made a positive impact in their community.

Ben Melle, Hinsdale The writer is president of the Dalton-Hinsdale Little League and a coach in the league.


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