As a rule of thumb for interviews, many writers start with the 5 W’s and the 1 H. Who, What, When, Why, Where, and How can provide the foundation for any interview and set up a solid base to branch out on tangent type questions. Often, I will have prepared questions for my stories, only to use one or two of them for the actual interview. Case in point, my interview last year with Babe Ruth’s Granddaughter, Linda Ruth Tossetti. I ditched the prepared questions after just one and simply sat and listened to her amazing stories about her famous grandfather. Other times, I use all 5 W’s, 1H, and then some because the subject is shy, nervous, emotional and really needs the story drawn out of him/her.
I was thinking about interviewing my contacts at Little League® International or a RI youth baseball coach or one of the many outstanding Rhode Island baseball facility coaches about their thoughts on this unprecedented baseball season. Based on what I see on social media, the divide between the “We want to play” group and the “We need to wait” group is widening each and every day. Parents want their children to be safe and compliant with local, state, and federal orders as laid out by the CDC, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, some parents are pushing back against the orders extending now into the spring season of baseball, forcing leagues to cancel practices, games, tournaments, and unfortunately for some, the season itself. There is even talk of online petitions, similar to those in other states, to “Let the kids play,” like this one in Massachusetts on www.change.org.
Most of my social media followers are adults – parents, coaches, league administrators, sponsors – and their voices are being heard every day. I encourage all of you to post responsibly to my page and others. However, I really want to hear from the youth baseball players of Rhode Island. I want to hear about their lost season, their disappointment about not playing, the missed time with their friends, if they know what is really going on, and so on. If you would be so kind, be my sideline reporter for me and interview your baseball player for me. You don’t have to post their name, just their answers. I want to get a stronger sense as to how they are taking the news of no youth sports, especially baseball. Here is a list of questions I would ask your son or daughter, should I have the chance to interview them:
- What are you doing these days to stay in shape baseball wise?
- What baseball websites are you using to get advice?
- How many days a week are you throwing a baseball?
- Where have you been practicing? Home, a local field, a neighborhood park?
- Why do you think it is important to not gather and play games right now?
- Who has been in contact with you about your season? Have you learned about it from your coaches or just your parents?
- What has this time away from your teammates meant to you?
- What do you miss most about not playing baseball games?
- When did you first learn that you would not be playing this season?
- What about playing your games in front of no fans? Would you be okay with this situation?
- When baseball starts up again, what will be the first thing you want to do on the field?
This is just a small sample of the hundreds of unanswered questions we have about the 2020 Rhode Island Baseball season. As of today, May 17th, we are still in Phase 1 of the Governor’s ReOpeningRI plan. At the earliest, we are looking at sometime in July or August to start gathering in groups larger than 10 people. I have seen post from at least 10 youth baseball leagues cancelling their 2020 Spring Season. Conversely, I have seen many posts from youth leagues that state there will be something at some point this summer, holding out HOPE that baseball will happen.
I would love to see a flood of responses from our youth baseball players. It can a single response, a video message, a photo with caption, whatever you want to send, I will post it responsibly. The kids of Rhode Island baseball deserve a voice in this and I happy to be the amplifier!!!!