As is often the case the letters section outdoes the original article. This might not be intended to be a libertarian rant, but the case is made well, at least to people who think.
Regarding “Why Children Are Abandoning Baseball” (Sports, May 21): It strikes me that it is about a lack of joy. I recall the wonder of the sport when I was growing up. On any given summer evening, dozens of boys from our neighborhood gathered on the sandy lot across the street. Regardless of age, we rushed through dinner to be on hand when the two oldest kids “chose up sides.” Seven-year-olds learned to play from 14-year-olds. If you made an error, your manager might punch you. There were no bases on balls. Three swings and you were out. The pitcher was a member of the team at bat, so he tried to let you hit the ball. The game moved quickly. Sliding on gravel was at the risk of getting a “raspberry” on your butt, and bragging rights went to the team in front when the game was “called” on account of darkness or because our mothers were calling us in.
No coaches, no umpires, no scoreboard, no parents, no pressure—just the pure joy of playing a game of skill within a common set of rules. If Little League could figure out how to reproduce that experience, it would reverse its decline.