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10-Year-Old's Fastball Gets Him Kicked Off League

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10-Year-Old's Fastball Gets Him Kicked Off League


10-Year-Old's Fastball Gets Him Kicked Off League

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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A tough call for a 10-year-old kid in New Haven, Connecticut. He has been kicked out of his baseball league for being too good. Jericho Scott's pitches are so fast opposing players and coaches say he's dangerous on the mount.

Now, his parents are threatening to sue the league as Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports.

DIANE ORSON: The brouhaha began earlier this month when fireballer Jericho Scott joined the Liga Juvenile de Baseball de New Haven - a Spanish youth baseball league. Everyone noticed his 40-mile-an-hour pitches.

BLOCK: For other kids, it's a scary thing.

ORSON: That's parent Nana Velez. She and other parents complains that the ace pitcher frightened kids and left them feeling discouraged. League officials agreed. They decided that Jericho should play a different position and shouldn't be allowed to pitch. When his coach refused, the league disbanded his team.

Last night, the league held a press conference to discuss Jericho's situation. League lawyer Peter Noble says Liga Juvenile is independent and not affiliated with Little League.

BLOCK: It is really the directive or is the prerogative of the league to decide how we want to handle the development of the players. And in this particular case, the league decided that the player, while still on the field, couldn't pitch.

ORSON: Parents showed up to support the league. Patricia Warrencliff(ph) says Jericho, who turns 10 today, should consider moving into a more competitive league.

BLOCK: He shouldn't be stopped to play. But you pitch to children who are just learning the game themselves and (unintelligible) that child from playing at all, you know, feels that, okay, I'm incompetent to hit a ball that's being tossed to me by a 9-year-old.

ORSON: Warrencliff's 11-year-old son Ryan(ph) pitches for the Seatown(ph) team.

BLOCK: Actually, no, he should not be able to pitch because he could hurt another kid like injure him really badly. The kid's parents may (unintelligible) or something and some parents can't afford the hospital bill and stuff.

ORSON: But Jericho's parents have decided to seek legal action. They say Jericho feels sad about the whole situation and blames himself for his team's troubles. Their lawyer John Williams says Liga Juvenile may not be governed by Little League regulations but officials still can't push kids around.

BLOCK: They said if you play by the rules of the game, play fair and play properly, you'll be allowed to compete in an even playing field, so to speak. But then, it turns out that one of them is too good, oh well, we've changed the rules and (unintelligible). That, they can't do.

ORSON: Williams points out that Jericho's never beaned anybody. He's fast and accurate. Wayne Morrison coaches the All Star Pop Smith Little League team in New Haven. He says he's never seen anything like this controversy.

BLOCK: I just think a kid, if he's good at what he does, he should be allowed to do what he does. Right here, you know, the team was dominating all the kids and the kids was losing interest because they were losing by 20 and 30 runs. But to deny a kid an opportunity to do what he's good at is tough.

ORSON: The story has been flying around the Internet faster than Jericho's fast ball. He's become a media sensation. Jericho's the subject of ESPN blogs, has his own Wikipedia page and has been invited on TV talk shows.

For NPR News, I'm Diane Orson in New Haven.

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