12-Year-Old Banned From Pitching in Little League Because He’s…Good At Pitching?
A 12-year old in Massachussetts has been banned from pitching for his little league team, because he is too good.
At 5’1” and 90 pounds, Tanner Beebe looks like a normal 12-year-old kid, but the power behind his right arm and his 60 MPH fastball caught the attention of the parents of opposing players and eventually, the Eastern Regional Little League office, which ruled that Beebe couldn’t play in the city’s minor league.
However, there are two sides to every story, and this controversy is more complicated than it first appears. Under national Little League rules, 12-year-olds are supposed to play in a city’s “major league” for older, more experienced players. Prior to this incident, the city of Westfield, MA had just ignored that rule and had a local rule that allowed 12-year-olds to play in the minors. In other words, Tanner was in compliance with a long-standing local rule, but conflicted with a national rule. Unfortunately for Tanner, this discrepancy only became known when the parents of some opposing players began heckling him during games and took their complaints to the Little League regional office.
Chris Beebe, Tanner’s father and the coach of his team, said they opted to put him in the minor leagues because it was Tanner’s first year playing competitively. Had he known about the Little League rule, he said that they would have registered Tanner on the older team, but now just want him to be able to finish the season with his teammates.
As the situation stands, Tanner has been allowed to play shortstop and catcher, but will have to wait until next year and a higher league to get back to pitching.