ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Playing Baseball as a Kid

Updated on April 6, 2020
Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul grew up on a farm where moral virtues such as hard work and honesty were cherished. Each of his classes has a moral lesson.

A Little League Catcher



I have always had a great love for baseball. Although playing very little ball after college, my childhood was spent up until the age of 14 on playgrounds and baseball diamonds with neighborhood kids. It was a rewarding experience teaching me the importance of practice, hard work, teamwork, and good sportsmanship. In this article, I reflect on my first contact playing baseball which reaches a climax when I played on a small village team right before high school.

Learning How to Play Baseball: 1951-1953

In the second or third grade, I started to become interested in baseball. During recess time and lunch hour, I used to watch the older boys play softball with father on the playground of Saint Mary's Help of Christians School in West Allis, Wisconsin. How I envied the boys who could hit the ball over the fence and on to the street for a home run!

Before I could play ball, however, I had to learn how to catch and hit a ball. Dad was a great help in teaching me how to catch with a baseball glove. I still remember learning how to catch a ball by holding my glove in a crazy cocked position. Learning to hit was harder because I had to hold a bat correctly, watch the ball, and then stride into it by swinging in the right way.

Dad had always wanted me to be a catcher, so for one Christmas, he got me a nice catcher's mitt, mask, and shin guards. I never really used them that much, however, until I was 12 or 13.

While living in the city up until March of 1954, I would play ball with neighborhood kids on the school playground. Two of the older boys would be captains to choose players for their team. This was done by having one of the captains throw a bat which the other captain had to catch with one hand on the lower barrel of the bat. Both captains would then put their hands above each other on the barrel of the bat until one person reached the handle. This person was the winner and he had the first choice for players on his team.

Wanting to Play Little League Baseball: 1954-1956

After we moved out to a farm in 1954, I attended a Catholic School in the village of Mukwonago about three or four miles away. Mukwonago had a summer Little League team, and I wanted so badly to try out for the team. The problem was that dad worked the second shift from 3:30 until 11:30 p.m. and practice was in the early evening. I had no way to get to practice and felt very bad.

I couldn't play that much ball around the home because my younger sister didn't like to play and there was only one nearby neighbor kid, Norman. Most of the time, I played by myself. I would throw a ball into the air, hit it, and then run after the ball. When the weather was bad, I made up a game in the house using baseball cards, a knife, and a marble. After positioning the cards as players on the floor, I would pretend that I was an opposition hitter by throwing a marble into the air and hitting it with a knife handle. If the marble hit a baseball card, an out was recorded.

The times I cherished the most were when dad had time to pitch and I would bat, or when my uncle visited and would hit high fly balls to me in a cut hayfield.

Preparing to Play Neighborhood Village Ball: 1957-1958

In March of 1957, we moved to our newly purchased farm one-half mile north of the village of Honey Creek. After becoming quick friends with David and Terry who lived on an adjacent farm, we began playing baseball together early that summer. David was two years behind me in grade school and Terry four. Both boys liked my catcher's mitt, mask, and shin guards very much, but David used the equipment the most.

After playing together for a short time, we decided to form a team from kids in Honey Creek and play teams from other neighboring communities. Being the biggest and the oldest, David and Terry wanted me to be the pitcher. David would catch and Terry play left field. Now we had to find six more kids to make a team. In Honey Creek, we were able to find five more players. Jimmie and Skipper who were both about a year or two younger than me would play first base and third base respectively. Mark and John who were brothers would play shortstop and second base. The fifth Honey Creek player, Billy, would play center field. Now we only needed a right fielder. Although he was only six or seven, Scottie who was a next-door neighbor to David and Terry would play right field.

Having found our team players, David, Terry, and I now had to find a field for practice and games. David asked his father about this matter, and Mr. Lewis or Gordie as I called him said we could use one of his cut straw fields for practice and games. The field was adjacent to a cornfield, and a long drive by a left-handed hitter like me into the tall corn plants would be a home run!

After we set up 10-12 bales of straw as a backstop, we marked off home plate, the bases, and a pitcher's box. During our few short practices, I pitched to David and pretended that I was a major league hurler having a fastball, curve, and change-up. We thought that if I struck out most of the opposing batters, it wasn't really important having good fielding players.

Playing on the Honey Creek Village Team: 1957-1958

Around the middle of August of 1957, our Honey Creek team arranged to play its first game. With the assistance of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, a game was lined up against Mrs. Lewis' relatives who lived about 10 miles away. We were the home team on a hot summer afternoon, and Gordie was the umpire calling balls and strikes.

I pitched that day and after about an hour or two, the game ended I believe in a 9-9 tie. My home run into the cornfield is still vivid in my mind, and I also remember the refreshment break we had during the game. Mrs. Lewis prepared an eight-gallon milk can filled with ice-cold Kool-Aid, and it hit the spot in quenching everyone's thirst.

We played one more game that summer, and it was against the same team from outside of the village of Waterford. This time we were the visiting team and I pitched again on a diamond which was set in a cow pasture. Unfortunately, I didn't pitch well that day and we lost the game.

Our team in the summer of 1958 had the same players from the year before with the addition of Ralph, a bigger boy like me. That summer we played two games. One of the games was away against German Settlement in a neighboring county. Once again, I pitched that day, even though I had six stitches in my lower right leg from a farm accident suffered a few days earlier. We lost that game because I thought I could throw a curve that didn't break at all. The opposing hitter got a hit that scored the winning run.

The End of Playing Baseball as a Kid

In the summer of 1959, the village team ruled that I was too old to play because my age was almost 15 and I had just finished my first year of high school. I was, however, permitted to umpire one of the Honey Creek village games.

Playing baseball was fun and rewarding as a kid. It was my first real experience being on a team where practice, cooperation, and good sportsmanship were necessary for success.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Paul Richard Kuehn


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      No matter how old I am, baseball will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you very much for your comments.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      3 years ago

      You were certainly creative with your game of baseball. I remember how much we enjoyed watching our son play the game when he was young. It is a great sport and does teach children the importance of teamwork and discipline.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your great comments and sharing your experience of playing softball in junior high school.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      3 years ago from Brazil

      For many kids, I think participating in a sport is a great idea, for many reasons. Not only is it great exercise and gets kids out of the house but as you say it teaches cooperation and sportsmanship.

      I wonder how many more parents would play with their kids if they knew how much enjoyment this simple event could bring. As you say, even now you cherish the time your uncle and dad spent with you.

      I played on the softball team in junior high and enjoyed it. I loved the feel of my mitt on my hand and the way my heart beat faster when a new batter came up to hit.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)