Baseball Uptick Can Be A Positive Sign

  Those involved in youth baseball have noticed a slight uptick in the number of kids registering to play. This bodes well for the sport of baseball that has seen kids leave the game for other sports such as lacrosse and soccer over the last decade and more. This is especially true when the kids reach the age of twelve. This may or may not continue. The real measuring point will be when players start to leave the two above mentioned sports to play baseball.
  Major League Baseball has two programs that may be helping with this momentum. Their RBI program promoting baseball in the inner cities is working though not at the pace MLB would like. Their "Play Ball" program also seems to have traction. Another positive that should not be overlooked are two players that can help become the face of the game. Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers are two likable players who may become superstars but have a ways to go. Around the New York metropolitan area Judge's number 99 is seen in shopping malls, parks and just about everywhere else. Bellinger comes from a baseball family. Having his father Clay Bellinger pitch to him in the recent home run derby is one of those small things fans love and can relate to.
  Shortening games giving young fans a chance to stay up later is also a factor. The World Series will never have day games during the week but baseball seems to be doing the right things and though the results are small this is a positive sign for the game. 

Marty Schupak is President of the Youth Sports Club and T-Ball America. He has written nine books on baseball and coached Little League for 25-years.