WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - I traveled to Wiggins and met with the 2013 Cal Ripken Tee-Ball 5 and 6 year-old state champions.
They are just one of many Tee-ball teams in South Mississippi who are learning the ropes when it comes to competing in the game of baseball.
2.2 million youngsters play Tee ball in every state and parents lend a helping hand becoming coaches, administrators, organizers and volunteers, helping to develop the basic skills of baseball... hitting, running, fielding and throwing.
Stone-Wiggins Recreation Association President Scott Clark says their goal is to teach the game and to have the kids enjoy the game.
Clark said, "This is a recreation program. It's not like a travel team." He added," Our approach to these kids during the regular season is to have fun. We want to teach them to love and respect the game of baseball."
Coach Raymond Collins says meeting with the parents before the season is crucial.
"Once we have our meetings with the parents and the players, we just sit down and tell them let the coaches handle everything and I explain the rules of the game so there won't be any back-and-forth. You have to know the rules of the game before you can play the game."
We have all heard stories of parents getting too involved, resulting in shouting matches and even fights.
In South Mississippi parents try to make sure the youngsters are having fun.
Hope Ladner said,"We try to have the most positive attitude and put the children first. We want them to be sure that they know the proper way for sportsmanship."
She added,"We hope to install in our parents are the leaders and the peers and the children look up to them."@
I spoke with a couple of future high school and college baseball players who one day could crack the roster of a major league team.
Daylen Collins said,"I don't know."
Keena Galloway stated," Hitting. I like hitting."
Heath Russell added,"I like tee-ball and I like doing everything."
And that's what tee-ball was designed to do, teach the boys and girls the game of baseball.