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Shaye Perry tags out Mason Miller Friday at Candy Cane Park. Rick Stanton (above) tosses a pitch during a game.
Rick Stanton had an epiphany.
Get sandlot baseball going in La Grande.
So every Friday at 6 p.m., Stanton decends on Candy Cane Park with his son, Aiden (age 8), and as many kids who will show up for some good, old-fashioned pick-up baseball.
“Kids don’t get together and play baseball like they used to do,” Stanton said.
So the idea here, according to Stanton, is have kids show up and pick teams, let them choose their own positions and play ball. The age group is around 7-9 and Stanton or other parents pitch.
When there aren’t enough players to play a traditional game of baseball, Stanton improvises, creating other ways to play.
Stanton helps coach coach-pitch baseball, so he put a call out to fellow coaches to try and get more kids involved.
So far, the results have been mixed.
“Anywhere around 12 to 14 kids would be about right.
“The idea is if my kid called your kid who called another kid, and they got together to play,” Stanton said.
Stanton said that while a little parental guidance is involved, he prefers that the kids play without being coached.
“The kids just want to get out and play,” he added.
La Grande baseball coach Mark Lanman provided bases for Stanton to use.
Stanton chose Fridays because a lot of baseball practices happen during the week, so this gives more kids a chance to show up.
“It’s been a fun thing. The kids have enjoyed it so far,” Stanton said.
So what are you waiting for?