Today I Learned: Tee Ball Was Invented In Michigan
Tee Ball, a sport where young batters hit off a tee instead of a pitch, was invented here in 1956.
The Event Is Commemorated With A Statue
According to most accounts, Jerome Sacharski, a high school teacher in Albion, first invented the game back in 1956 by placing a baseball on tee, making it easier for younger children trying to hit it. It means the ball is put in play more often than it would if another kid was pitching, or a coach was pitching.
Sacharski passed away in 2009, at the age of 93. He was eulogized for his contribution to the sport of baseball.
Sacharski wasn’t interested in receiving credit for creating T-ball or marketing it but “was there to teach the kids,” Frank Passic told the LA Times.
The sport allowed younger kids introduction to the sport, and later advancing to a pitching league. Usually boys and girls under 9 use a tee, while ten and older learn pitching.
It was incorporated into the national Little League program in 1970.
The invention of the sport was honored with the installation of a statue commemorating the first tee ball game installed in downtown Albion Saturday, June 25th.
Full disclosure: I never played tee ball. Where I grew up you had to hit pitching right from the word go, and it wasn't coach-pitch either, it was a real pitcher who more often hit you than you hit the ball, but that's the way it goes sometimes.
My two younger brothers played tee ball, and I teased them for it. Now I feel bad.
Just Because The Ball Is Easier To Hit Doesn't Mean The Game Is Easier To Teach
The concepts of baseball are difficult for a young, developing brain to master. It means knowing where to run once you hit the ball, and as a fielder, it means knowing how to catch the ball and where to throw it when you do.
Watch below as all hell breaks loose when this kid hits a ball off a tee. The kids runs right up the middle to second base, while the fielders throw it at a first baseman who is not ready and takes it right off the face. Don't worry, he's okay now. He'll just probably never baseball again.
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