FanPost

OT-A suggestion to Cubs' brass from the father of a Jr. Dodger

I know Al has said that Cubs management is aware of BCB. So I will recount the day I had at Dodger stadium for the purpose of giving a good suggestion to Cubs management. Plus it will be good for all of us to get our minds off this frustrating team we all follow.

The Dodgers had a Jr. Dodger day at the stadium. It was on a Friday and a good day to take the day off to watch everything. It was a day for kids to get instructions on the basics from two former players like Mariano Duncan and Jay Howell, to bench coaches and a trainer. The ages of the kids were between 7 - 12. They had about 8 groups of kids, consisting of 12-13 kids per group.

Here are some photos:

http://mlb.mlb.com/la/photogallery/year_2009/month_06/day_26/cf5544650.html

The parents were not allowed on the field and had to watch from the left field bleachers. And most of us were joking that the day probably meant more to the parents than to the kids. I'm sure it will sink into them as they grow up, that they were allowed on the field of their favorite team. (I'm sure many of us at BCB would love to step foot onto Wrigley Field- or even watch our kids on the field.) Just imagine watching your child warm up in the actual bullpen where the Cubs pitchers warm up or hit in the actual batting cages where the players hit. It was a priceless day. (actual price for annual membership is just $250 and there are other things that they are eligible for also)

There were 8 stations of various baseball activities. They had batting tees, agility, grounders, pitching with radar gun, fly balls, batting with small ball, pitching windup, and batting cages. Now I coach my son in little league so I was really focused on picking up extra drills for my team. I will tell you that they did not have any special drills that a good little league coach doesn't know. But I guess the point was to get instruction from professionals and I'm sure that holds more weight with the kids more than anything I could say. And the added benefit of doing it on the actual field. After the batting cages the kids were escorted through the player tunnel, through the dugout and into the field. They were not allowed into the locker room, one of the parents tried to give their kid a video camera but that was not allowed as they feared players would be in the locker room at that time. My son did say that he was able to peek into the locker room, and although he didn't see any players, he did see Andre Ethier's locker and jersey.

After all the station work, all the kids broke for lunch. While we were eating they broke the field up into 4 fields to have a little scrimmage between the different groups. (My son was 1-2 with a home run in the scrimmage.) The scrimmage lasted about a half hour. It was really fun to watch the 12 year olds, put the ball into the seats. Some of those kids can really kill the ball.

Then at the end, they brought a player to talk to the kids. Orlando Hudson spoke to the kids for about ten minutes. He even took questions from the kids. Aside from one annoying Mom that wanted to keep shouting to Orlando from the bleachers, it was a great moment for the parents and the kids.

So after it was over I was thinking what a smart thing this was for the organization. Sure the parents that signed up their kids, were already fans and come to games already. But they certainly planted the seeds of future fans in the kids. Something the Cubs brass should think about.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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