9-year old baseball player punished for being too good

9-year old Jericho Scott can pitch a baseball at around 40 mph. Since he plays in a developmental league where there are a lot of beginners, the league decided that he was too good (i.e. he pitches too fast) to pitch in that league, both because nobody could hit his pitching and that he might injure someone.

Jericho’s parents and coaches claim that this decision was made because he turned down an invitation from a team sponsored by the employer of one of the league’s administrators. The league denies this and claims that this decision was made because beginning players were not able to hit pitches at that speed and also that there were safety concerns (even though he had not hit anyone with a pitch.)

Now there are lawyers involved.  After Jericho took the mound to start a game after officials had told his coach that he couldn’t pitch, the league called the game a forfeit and kicked his team out of the league. Jericho’s parents are understandably planning on taking legal action to allow Jericho and his team to play.

All Jericho, his teammates and their parents want to do is play, but the league is being a bunch of babies about the whole thing.

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30 Responses

  1. That kid is great! Crazy tho

  2. Definitely crazy. The kids are being more adultish than some of the adults…

  3. this is youth baseball, lawyers should be far away from this matter. the adults are being ridiculous.

  4. A similar thing happened to me when I was younger. They didn’t kick me out, they just moved me up. It was that way for me all the way through school and summer leagues.
    What can this kid possibly learn by pitching to a bunch of beginners who can’t hit? Help this kid grow .
    I can see the leagues position from a safety standpoint but kicking him out was definitely not the answer.

  5. Look at you! All up on the front page of WP in the Sports section. WOOHOO. And thats BS about that kid. He can’t help it that he’s so good. Move him to the big leagues!

    http://www.peglegstarfish.com

  6. Just sounds like to me that too many parents (on both sides) are trying to live vicariously through their kids. The boy’s parents and coach are too happy to be winning and the other parents and coaches are too mad to be losing…

    I think it is stupid to ban him…however it was all about “let the kid play” then the coach and parents would have just moved him to another team/league so he could “just play”.

    Just my 2cents.

  7. @BALL BOY:
    I can see your point, but I don’t think moving a 9 year old up a level is a good idea. If he was older, sure, that would be good.

    Also, the league claimed that they asked him to switch leagues, but he didn’t want to.

    @pegleg:
    Thanks!

    @Sandy:
    His parents wanted him to be on his current team, which wasn’t as good as the team that the league wanted him to be on. He apparently wants to stay on his current team, so I think his parents are just arguing what he wants.

    Apparently the league asked him to move up, but he didn’t want to.

  8. My son went thru a similar situation in the 80’s when he was 9. He was pitching at 45 mph. They didn’t want him playing with his age group and tried to move him up, but his dad and I stopped it. We filed a greivance with our little league and we won. He finished out the year with his group. Went on to play minor league ball.

  9. @antiques:

    You are so right! And these are 8-10 year olds, for god’s sake!

  10. 40 mph at 9 is average. Go play select ball somewhere and most kids will start in upper 40’s and 50’s. looking at the video’s that’s been all over the news his accuracy sucks!!! I don’t see the hype!!! his balls are outside, inside, high and low. blah blah blah!! TOO MUCH HYPE!!

  11. @joker:

    I googled it, and you’re right about the average speed of a 9 year old.

    There are 2 possibilities: 1) This is a beginner’s league, so 40 is way above average, or 2) His pitching is much faster than 40, and somebody measured it incorrectly.

    Actually, being inaccurate would be much more of a safety hazard than being accurate…

  12. well if your children suck, and can’t take on this kid’s pitches they shouldn’t play if your going to complain. this is a game it’s supposed to be fun win or lose

  13. Folks, 40 mph at 9-years old is not that fast. Actually 40 mph is pretty common at that age. If this developmental league is truly wanting to develop these kids, this boy should be allowed to play. His accuracy is probably more the reason why these kids are striking out rather than his velocity.

  14. @sigh: Good point. Can we ban the parents?

    @Rick: Yeah, I noticed that point about 40mph not being very fast after I posted this. However, I actually think kids would strike out more if he was inaccurate. Most of these kids are probably playing for the first time, and that’s why they can’t hit him.

  15. @wig: you’re exactly right. inaccuracy is why they are striking out. at 9-years old, the umpires have huge strike zones so if he is even around the plate, these beginners are swinging or being called out.

    for the development of this kid, his parents should consider moving him to another league, up or out. but should he be forced out? of course not.

  16. 40MPH fastball too much? Are you kidding me? My 5 yr old could hit that.

  17. @Phil:

    One thing I hadn’t thought of is how far the mound is from the plate. Since this is not Little League, the mound could be closer to the plate, which would explain why 40 mph is considered fast.

  18. @Rick: Apparently (according to them) the league asked him about moving up. I wonder if the parents explained to him that he would be better off facing better competition.

  19. @wig: Little League tends to pitch closer to the plate than regular baseball. If this is not Little League, he is most likely pitching from between 44′-46′, which makes this even more ridiculous.

    Many of us just watched the Little League World Series. These 12 and 13 years olds are only pitching from 40 feet under Little League rules. When you compare that to regular baseball, 12 and 13 year olds are pitching from 50′-54′.

  20. Rick:

    I’ve been thinking. If 40 mph is average for a 9-year old, the opponents must have seen that speed before. If they thought it was too fast, then I’m thinking that the reporter got the speed wrong. Maybe it was 50.

    They pitch from 50-54 feet in the LLWS?

  21. No, these 12 and 13 year olds pitch from 40 ft. in the LLWS. Can you believe that? Some of these kids are almost 6′ tall and they are throwing from that distance.

    In most other baseball circles, where they play by regular baseball rules (leadoffs, stealing, etc.), the 12 and 13 year olds pitch from 50′ – 54′.

    If the reporter didn’t get the speed wrong, then these kids have to be first-year players. 40 mph from 44′ – 46′ is not very fast. If that is the correct speed, these kids are way behind.

  22. My son is 9 and can pitch at 56 mph. He plays AAA with our City Little League. His team won the championships. There were no complaints from parents or coaches regarding his pitching.
    He was the closer.

  23. 56 mph? Wow!

    It appears that there is more to this story than meets the eye, since 40 mph probably isn’t that fast even for a beginners’ league.

  24. I LMAO over: 🙂 🙂

    “King Al’s Least unlooked at posts (past 48 hours)”

    I LOVE IT!!!!!

    I just realized writing this that I’m not even sure what it means. LOL LOL LOL LOL 🙂 :):

    Okay, I’m outta here. I’ve been at my desk since 7:00 AM and it’s already 8:30 PM…..Oh maaaaan!!! 🙂

  25. @Robin:

    I wanted to do a double negative for “most viewed” just to be weird. I really couldn’t think of anything better than “Least unlooked at”…

    Wow, 7 am to 8:30! You need to get outside! (Assuming the weather permits…)

  26. give me a break,40 so what how about 70.My son plays ina AAA pee-wee league 12-13 where these kids throw 70+.at 9 they were55+

  27. This appears to be a beginner’s league. However the point was that the adults were being totally ridiculous.

  28. Jericho needs MORE practice…would be very average in most 9 year old little leagues. My 7 year old son routinely rips 44 m.p.h on our Jugs machine and has faced better and faster pitchers. The challenge makes him BETTER. Failure is not an enemy, but a motivator if in small doses.

  29. Lol the kids must really suck because when I was 9 I could throw a baseball at about 50 mph

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