If you grew up in Orlando around the 90s, there is an excellent chance you played little league baseball. Me? Northwest Little League in Lockhart. Worst player you ever saw.
But I had fun and made some good friends.
This is why we should applaud the City Of Orlando’s efforts to expand baseball in our community. On Friday, Mayor Buddy Dyer and Commissioner Regina Hill expanded the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Play Ball initiative. Kids got together, did some drills, and got to appreciate the national past time.
Dyer is a ball player from way back in Osceola County. Hill used to have historic Tinker Field in her district and is a fan herself.
But even here in Orlando, youth baseball isn’t available everywhere. Every community should have a league nearby but in some areas near downtown, either the organization isn’t there or the fields don’t exist.
Teams from Apopka and Maitland have captured national headlines in the modern era.
And the truth is that every kid growing up in Orlando, from any community, from any gender, should get the chance to appreciate this sport. This is because every generation before them had the opportunity to.
Let us also not forget that Orlando deserves a Major League Baseball franchise. While the pandemic has left efforts to make the Orlando Dreamers a reality, stagnant, we’ve still got the facilities, the market size, and the fanbase to be an asset to the MLB.
But let’s reflect on this initiative and the effort to help these kids have a good time. Playing youth sports in Orlando was a part of my experience growing up here and every kid living here now deserves the same opportunity.