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It's Supposed to be Little League by Stan Silliman


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
It's Supposed to be "Little" League

        By now everyone has heard of Aaron Durley, the 13-year-old who is 6’8, playing in the Little League World Series at Williamsport, PA. Did you notice we abbreviated Pennsylvania? That’s in honor of Little League… where everything is … uh… LITTLE? It was, until young Durley came in and spoiled our perceptions.

             Let me re-state that. Little League baseball is for young players and the ball park, the base lines, the distance from mound to plate are all correspondingly sized. That’s why, when a batter like the young Mr. Durley can stand at the front of the batter’s box, it’s shocking. Especially if the same Mr. Durley can do his waggle… and then stretch out the bat with his left  hand and TICKLE THE PITCHER’S NOSE. That’s not right. Pitchers ought to be able to peek at second base without turning around to find a bat in their face. Not a good situation. The poor little pitcher is forced to think twice about following though hard and heavy if he has to worry about back peddling to avoid getting hit by the batter’s swing. 

              Like we said earlier, when giants take over the Little League, the league is no longer little. Durley’s team, made up of Americans living in Saudi Arabia, is full of giants. Outfielder Michael Knight is 6’3, 190. The third baseman is 5’8, 226. These Aramco brats (affectionately called) are all kids of American oil workers in Saudi and you know what shocks them most of all?

It's Supposed to be Little League by Stan Silliman

       Three dollar gasoline, that’s what. They’re used to 75-80 cent gas. They’re as shocked by the gas prices as Little League fans are when they see Aaron and his team mates. 

              To give you a comparison for those who might think kids of this size is not unusual, consider that LeBron James (now 6’8) was 6’ at age 14. Michael Jordan, 5’8 at 13. Shaquille O’Neal  was 6’6 at 13 but weighed 30 # less than Durley. To further drive home the point, nobody in major league baseball is Durley’s size at 6’8 and 256. 

             Aaron can’t help being a child of tall parents or for maybe having an early growth spurt.

      All kidding aside we wish him luck. If his team happens to win the LLWS and Durley pops a few home runs, he’ll be a hero. And maybe, because of his height he’ll be able to do things the average person in Arabia can’t do, like pick Osama Bin Laden out of the crowd during his annual disguised trip to Mecca. If Aaron uses his height to spot the world’s most wanted man, he’ll be a hero on all fronts and not only be worshipped from all over but have $25 million dollars worth of new digs to house all his Little League trophies. And he won’t he even need a scholarship when he becomes a sought after high school senior basketball player in the year 2011.

              Isn’t it weird how things work? All Aaron’s fans and supporters, about 40 of them from Arabia, who spent $ 1600 each for plane tickets to the LLWS and were so shocked to be witnessing the price of gas as they returned to US soil, can all get reimbursed for their tickets from Aaron’s Osama reward monies. We’re all for it. And as far as being all that shocked as to the price we’re paying here for gasoline, didn’t they wonder where their big salaries were coming from? Sometimes it takes a shockingly big ball player to open your eyes. But that’s only if your eyes are way, way up in a tree… something which is in short supply in Saudi Arabia. <>     
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