God and baseball

I was at a Little League baseball game last night, a tournament game between teams from different communities.

The players were introduced and stood on the first- and third-base lines for the National Anthem.

They they recited the Little League Pledge, which I don’t think I ever heard before.

I took note because the opening line was: “I trust in God.”

According to the LL website, the pledge was written in 1954 by a late president of LL Baseball.

In 1955, President Eisenhower wrote to LL about the pledge: “Thank you for…sending me the inspiring and fine pledge that, I understand, will now be repeated at the start of the Little League Baseball games.”

The LL website notes: “Whether to recite the Little League Pledge, play or sing the National Anthem, or say a prayer, is entirely up to the local league’s board of directors. While many local leagues and districts include a recitation of the Little League Pledge in ceremonies, it is not, and has never been, required to be recited by any person involved with Little League Baseball or Softball.”

Here is the whole pledge:

*****

I trust in God
I love my country
And will respect its laws
I will play fair
And strive to win
But win or lose
I will always do my best

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.