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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Some final thoughts on the Franklin Little League


My blogs about a young pitching sensation left off the Franklin Little League All-Star team generated great interest. You could even use the term, “controversy” to describe the story as WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes referred to the issue as, “Franklingate.”

The Little League is an exceptional organization. In some form or fashion, I’ve been involved in youth sports since 1965, so I have a strong affection for the Little League and wish it the very best. One of the beauties of the sport is parental involvement. Unfortunately, that is also one of its drawbacks.

It’s a pretty good bet that those responsible for slighting 12-year old Devin Baehr by keeping him off the Franklin Little League All-Star team never dreamed the story would appear on a community blog and then be discussed by the most popular talk show host on Wisconsin’s most popular radio station.

One of Charlie Sykes’ callers was Franklin High School varsity baseball coach Jim Hughes who has complied over 700 career victories. Hughes told Sykes and his vast audience he had seen Devin Baehr pitch in person and that he truly deserved All-Star honors.

Hughes’ assessment is more than good enough for me.

For whatever reasons or rationale they used, the people responsible for snubbing Baehr flat out messed up. There’s something terribly wrong when the kids of various managers make the All-Star team while a deserving youngster like Baehr does not.

So now the story goes public, and because there’s no defense for what happened, the strategy becomes to use diversionary tactics, to change the subject and point fingers elsewhere, like the young boy’s father.

Some negative remarks are made on my blog, several untrue, but that’s the danger of a blog’s comments section.

A sidebar grows out of Devin Baehr's admission to me that he stopped playing Little League ball after learning he didn’t make the All-Star squad. When he and his father talked about it during my interview with them, I winced because I knew the young boy’s decision, backed by his father would lose him support. I never used the “Q” word in my original blog, but young Devin was eventually labeled a “quitter.” Mind you, we’re not talking about a spoiled professional ballplayer, we’re talking about a 12-year old.

I told Devin’s father that I would have preferred Devin hold his head high and continue playing to illustrate the big mistake that had been made. Devin’s departure doesn’t take away from the fact the young boy got a raw deal. His father tells me that even some of  Devin's closer friends have shunned him since the story broke, and that's unfortunate.}

There might be some good to come out of all of this.

Carl Baehr and
David Bartels, the president of the Franklin Little League Board of Directors worked out some differences they had expressed on my blog.

 

There might be some discussion in the future about how Little League All-Stars are ultimately selected. I recommend greater transparency. The votes should be made public so everyone knows who voted for whom. Consideration should be given to letting the players vote as long as it’s not for players on their own teams.

And finally, hopefully in the future, voters will think long and hard, and then fairly make the best and most deserving choices.

Related reading: 


Franklin All-Star snub is perfect example of what's wrong with Little League 

UPDATE: Franklin All-Star snub is perfect example of what's wrong with Little League

Charlie Sykes discusses the Franklin Little League controversy

A quick update on the Franklin Little League story

"You might have a much bigger story here"

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