By Corey J. Corbin
Allied News Sports Editor
I KNEW BUD SELIG WAS pretty dumb, but what I didn’t know was he’s pretty greedy as well.
Considering he once was an owner of a Major League Baseball team should have tipped me off, but sometimes things like that go right over my head.
Last week, what once went right over my head hit me right smack between the eyes.
There was no way I was able to overlook this singular act of greed.
Selig and MLB are ordering little leagues all over the country to pay licensing fees to name teams within their leagues after any of the 30 professional teams.
Names like the Astros, Red Sox and Yankees may be nicknames likely to be used by Little Leagues if they weren’t the names of professional baseball teams, but what about the Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Marlins, Cubs, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, Tigers or even the Pirates?
With the obvious exception of the Pirates, the names I mentioned are all animals of some sort.
Naming teams after animals is a common practice in the sports world, so why prohibit little league organizations from naming teams after an animal, which so happens to also be the name of a MLB team.
Selig and the rest of the brass over at MLB headquarters are always concerning themselves with how they can continue to bring children from all over the globe to professional baseball.
Having their Little League team named after a Major League team may be a start. In fact, it might be one of the better ways to get kids interested in pro baseball.
Major League Baseball wouldn’t have to spend one red cent to get the word out to youngsters all over the world if they allowed Little Leagues to name their teams after one of the professional teams.
More leagues would probably name their teams the White Sox, the Brewers, the Twins or the Athletics if they could do it for free.
I remember going to basketball skills camps at Slippery Rock High School when I was in fourth and fifth grade. We were eventually put onto teams and each team was assigned a major Division I hoops powerhouse.
I played for Syracuse during my fourth grade year and for Michigan State in fifth grade.
Needless to say, I was rooting for Syracuse during the NCAA tourney that year and Michigan State the next year.
I imagine there were lots of other kids in that program that were just like me in that regard.
Besides making Little Leagues pay licensing fees for team names is a bad PR move for a league that isn’t living up to its own nickname — America’s pastime.
Corey J. Corbin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Corey J. Corbin