KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Northeast Seattle Little Leaguers win Ursula’s heart

Aug 26, 2023, 9:00 AM

Northeast Seattle Little Leaguers...

Northeast Seattle Little Leaguers may not have made it to the US Championship, but they won our hearts. (Photo: Gee & Ursula Facebook page)

(Photo: Gee & Ursula Facebook page)

Although it’s been so many years since our two sons played Little League baseball, I fell in love with the team from Northeast Seattle. I was invested in their quest to win the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and felt so much pride for kids I’d never met.

I initially chalked it up to the fact that my boys also played baseball for the same league and they represent the neighborhood I live in. But upon further reflection, that’s not it. No, I believe these 12-year-olds represent much more than that. And I know I’m not alone. So many of our Gee & Ursula Show listeners let us know they were also watching the games with great interest.

It makes sense to me.

At a time when there’s so much negativity and division in this country, this team of 12-year-olds was a much-needed reprieve and a symbol of hope and unity.

At a time when more young kids around the country are committing violent crimes, the Northeast Seattle boys were out there, showing their pure love of the game, their teammates, and even their opponents.

At a time when so many young people were quick to resolve conflicts with violence, these boys were out on the field, overcoming challenges by working hard, not giving up, and supporting each other.

Heartbreaker: Seattle’s run in the Little League World Series ends

But it’s also not lost on me that these players from Northeast Seattle probably come from families that are intact and are not struggling financially. They have a lot of support and opportunities that so many kids today don’t have.

When we brought up the topic Friday about the surge in violent crimes committed by kids, one of our listeners named Bobby texted in and said that he works with troubled young adults from 18-to-24. He says COVID-19 sent them back years, mentally, and many don’t see paths to anything other than meaningless jobs. In his words, “These kids don’t see hope and the level of trauma they’ve experienced is unbelievable.”

So what can we do, individually, and as a society, to change this trajectory for young people who are struggling? It’s a question with no easy answers unless you want to have nothing to do with the solution. At this juncture, we can’t afford not to care. So I’m challenging myself and all of you to think about it, and more importantly, do something to be part of that change.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Northeast Seattle Little Leaguers win Ursula’s heart