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I must say that I am truly humbled by all the praise. Special thanks to those who give me props. Writing was never a forte, and I am extremely grateful that my lovely editor invites me back each week. English was by far my worst subject growing up so you can imagine the emotions when a general contractor asks, “Don’t you write a column in the Webb?” It makes me blush. Cheers Skip.

My topics vary, and some even find them entertaining. Several tales involve my nine-year-old son, Jensen, and his active young friends. They provide the perfect backdrop for a story, and they certainly keep us parents busy. I play fair and strive to win, and I always do my best to submit. My bad folks. Last week I completely whiffed. Early deadlines absolutely kill me.

Jensen recently hung up his $100 Kyrie Irving sneakers, and he has shifted to playing baseball full time now. We’ve been hard at it a few nights a week for the past two months. How is that possible? It’s only 34 degrees. Valid question coach. We practice indoors and take advantage of the Liberty Arena and the 17728 Sports Dome. Baseball is yet another year-round sport.

As you may recall, Little League International adopted a new standard in 2018 and everyone must buy or use a brand new USABat this year. LL officials did their very best to get the word out a few years back, but unfortunately, many local parents didn’t read the fine print. SO HERE IT IS IN BOLD. This policy requires all players to strictly follow these newly established guidelines. NO baseball bat previously approved for Little League play will be permitted in any future practices or games. That’s every Little League function, event, or activity. Old bats. Last year’s bats. Jensen’s three bats. My bat. It doesn’t matter. They are all banned, and everyone MUST use a NEW 2018 USABat in order to compete in Little League baseball. Even you Dorn. #majorleague.

I seriously wanted to fight this until the end, but Congressman Marino never returned any of my calls. My appeal was gaining some momentum in the House and Senate, but I ran out of money to bribe my politicians. I held out as long as I could folks. Then I learned the other parents started purchasing bats and left me in the dark. So much for our boycott. Camron got the new Louisville Slugger for Christmas. Wyatt has an Easton Hybrid, and Chris loves his Black Demarini. Lucas went with the LS 618 and Mason scored an Easton Ghost. HEY DAD. I’M THE ONLY KID ON THE TEAM WHO DOESN’T HAVE A USABat. OK. Maybe it was time to purchase a new and APPROVED 2018.

Buying a baseball bat is never easy. Especially when you were hoping to use last year’s model or a hand me down from Uncle Steve Parlante. #lastjab. I did my research and read several reviews. I even started a GoFundMe page. I couldn’t imagine spending that much money on a yellow piece of tin. I mean we just bought him one last spring, but I am very thankful that Grandpa Jim and many others stepped up to the plate on his behalf. #baseballpun. We decided to give the remaining balance to the March of Dimes.

I would like to thank my good friends at Harder Sporting Goods for all of their help. I didn’t pull the trigger online. I like to shop in the backyard. Scott, Ryan, and Tony are the best and, of course, they snickered when I transferred some money. They must’ve read the other posts on the Lycoming Creek Chronicles. Well, Jensen just loves his new bat, and he is really smacking that ball. Forget the fact he is older and gained 20 pounds — Jensen is now a complete hitter because of this new USABat.

I had a wonderful experience with Little League baseball and the entire program taught me a great deal. I can only hope for the same for my nine-year-old son and his mates. LL International employs several of my colleagues and friends, and I’ve enjoyed our conversations on this topic the past couple of years. We’ve had some rather interesting discussions on USABat. I am STILL one of their biggest fans, and I totally get it. Williamsport is a truly wonderful place because of Little League Baseball.

I am somewhat relieved that all of this is over. This wasn’t an apology, or a pitch to get a new job either. I am just hoping Steve and Pat will OK my clearances and maybe throw in a few extra tickets. I watched the first MLB Baseball Classic from a kayak, and I have pictures to prove it.

Hopefully all of you Little Leaguers are adhering to this new USABat policy. I don’t want to see anyone get banned. Well unless you are one of our opponents in the District 12 Tournament. And just for the record — I had absolutely nothing to do with the missing cast iron bat on the corner of 3rd and Market. Cheers.

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