From our friend MooseinOhio, in the Think of the Children thread, on baseball’s ability to provide teaching moments:
As a parent and uncle to children under six who are already expressing a real interest in baseball (nephew memorized Red Sox yearbook latt year) I wonder when it is appropriate to talk about the negatives of baseball. There is a long history of negative issues associated with baseball including the Black Sox scandal, the exclusion of non-white players, racist ownership groups that did everything possible not to integrate, Pete Rose’s saga and why he is not in the HoF and why players have a history of abusing their bodies with items such as excessive alcohol, uppers and PEDs.
I guess what I am saying is that steroids is only the most recent negative story regarding baseball and as a parent we can teach our children lessons from the mistakes of others. I intend to teach my child some great life lessons such as why cheating is wrong (Bonds, CLemens), the importance of personal responsibility (Rose)taking care of your body (Mantle) and about bigger societal issues such prejudice and discrimination (Negro Leagues, Yawkeys).
I can help my daughter embrace her Puerto Rican heritage with discussions about Hiram Bithorn and Roberto Clemente and we can talk about the history of prejudice and discrimination impacts her as an African America as well. Obviously as a white man that mean she will be questioning why one side of her family treated the other side of her family in such a way. These are not easy life lessons but if baseball helps me bring some sense of context to these difficult life lessons then baseball has benefitted my life in yet another wonderful way.