Players receive trophies for their play on the field. Coaches receive accolades and gift cards for a job well done with the kids. Baseball leagues receive plaques and maybe a trip to the Mayor’s office for a photo opportunity. And all of this would not be possible without YOU, the Fan.
The Fan is a Mom, a Dad, a Grandparent, a neighbor, a guardian, who unselfishly puts a child’s desire to play youth sports, like baseball, on the front burner of their busy life. A Fan drives an up and coming rising star baseball player to practice after working 8 hours. A Fan prepares a game uniform, makes sure cleats fit and helmets are safe. A Fan shows up a home games and away games with enthusiasm, energy, and encouragement. A Fan is the loudest to cheer when their ball player gets a hit and is the first to support them if they strike out.
Some Fans like the bleachers, right behind home plate, or close to the dugout where their ball player is playing. They see the game action right up close, almost like watching it on TV. If they disagree with a call on the field, they are clearly within the earshot of the umpires, should they choose to voice their opinions to them. Others prefer to watch from afar, maybe finding a place along the left field or right field lines. Ample space to pace when there are tense moments and/or enough distance from the umpires should a “bad call” go against their ball player, and they choose to voice their opinions to them. A Fan will line up all over the field to support the rising star baseball player.
Adverse weather conditions are never an obstacle for the Fan. Rain, heavy winds, intense sun, humidity – these are merely words to the Fan of youth baseball. The Fan prepares ahead of time with sunscreen, umbrellas, blankets (even in June), hats, gloves, sweatshirts if necessary. Nothing, not 40 degrees in April nor 98 degrees in June, will get in the way of a Fan watching their rising star baseball player. And for that, the Fan should be recognized and congratulated BIG TIME!!!
So today and everyday, I salute you the Fan. You work tirelessly to make sure your baseball player is safe, prepared for the game, on time to practice, and is ready for any weather condition Rhode Island can throw at them. You support your player in good times and bad with encouragement and enthusiasm. You are present for home games and away games. Your efforts and support of youth sports, like baseball, gives your child an opportunity to play games, compete in tournaments, and yes win trophies. These summer tournaments do not hand out trophies to Fans. But if it were up to me, I would give every Mom, Dad, Guardian, Grandparent, Neighbor, or Family Friend a huge trophy to thank them for supporting a youth baseball player here in Rhode Island.
So, thank you Fans. We appreciate everything you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!