Editorial: Suing players defeats Little League mission


When it comes to youth sports, the coach’s job extends beyond the field of play. Coaches are supposed to teach their team valuable life skills such as teamwork, selflessness and responsibility. These life lessons are apparently lost on Alan Beck.

You can imagine the dramatic scene: bottom of the 9th, two outs, bases loaded. It’s a tense situation. With pressure mounting, one California Little Leaguer rose to the occasion and drove in the game-winning run.

The runner that scored the winning run, in traditional celebratory fashion for the sport of baseball, took off his helmet as he was rounding third base and threw it into the air just before he stepped on home plate, earning the victory for his team.

For a 14-year old kid, a moment like this is one for the ages. Unfortunately for him, his heroic moment will forever be marred by his coach, Alan Beck, who is suing his player.

When the player threw his helmet in the air, the helmet hit the ground and injured Beck. The helmet struck his Achilles tendon and tore it, and Beck wants $500,000 for his pain and suffering and more than $100,000 for medical bills and lost wages.

Joe Paris, the boy’s father, told KCRA, a TV station in Sacramento, Calif., that he can’t afford to fight the case much longer and that he has already spent $4,000 without stepping foot in a courtroom.

Beck should drop the suit and remember why he wanted to be a coach in the California Little League in the first place. He should also reimburse Paris for the legal fees he has incurred.
Paris said when he heard about the lawsuit, he thought the whole thing was a joke. Sadly, he was wrong.

“I don’t think the boy meant to harm him,” Gene Goldsman, Beck’s attorney, told KCRA. “But, this wasn’t a part of the game. A guy who volunteers his time to coach should not be subjected to someone who throws a helmet in the manner that he did. What the kid did, it crossed the line.”

Goldsman and Beck are overlooking the obvious. There are certain risks associated with baseball. Its participants know there are baseballs flying about, bats rolling on the ground and, yes, possibly a helmet on the field after a game-winning run.

The participants and coaches accept the risks associated with the game when they sign up to participate.

Beck should have signed up to coach because he wants to help the kids on his team become better people and have some fun playing baseball. By suing his own player, he has taken the fun out of the game.

This legal action also teaches his kids that any sort of bad thing that happens to you can be labeled as someone else’s fault.

Now the kids think that you can get revenge on the universe by suing somebody.

Beck has taken no responsibility in the matter and now everybody is losing. He needs to set an example for his team and drop the lawsuit.

A lawsuit is only the answer when someone has wronged you and will not cover the damage.

If you are wronged by chance, then don’t take it out on somebody else, especially if that person is somebody you mentor.