To the Editor:
It seems to me that the baseball world has something to learn from the tennis world. Recently the footprint of the two tennis courts on Washington Plaza Drive was converted to six tennis courts. These smaller courts, equipped with lower nets, are being used by smaller fry, 5-year-olds and older, provided with slow bouncing balls. To all appearances they are learning more and enjoying their game than would be possible on a regulation court.
I recently watched girls in the lower elementary school grades competing on a regulation-sized baseball diamond. It occurred to me that a much smaller diamond would have fostered quicker learning and greater enjoyment for these youngsters. The run to first base from the plate and beyond was a major trip for the successful hitter. And there was no way in which a player fielding a ball in the infield, let alone the outfield, could successfully reach the teammate waiting for the throw on the appropriate base.
There may be precedent for the smaller-sized ball field. If not, a starting point could perhaps be gained from the example of the new Washington Plaza Drive tennis courts; they are about one-third the size of regulation courts.