By John Cirillo
Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz yesterday called for a ban on radar guns timing pitchers’ speeds in youth sports. Bravo!
The former Atlanta Braves hurler was participating in a Youth Sports Health Symposium at the Diamond Resorts Invitational. Smoltz said: “I would call for every organization, maybe not high school and definitely probably not scouts are going to do this, but I would eliminate the radar gun. I would ask every organization to put it away, quit using it for social media, quit using it for guidelines for kids to see how hard they throw. To me, if you abolish the radar gun and only let the true scouts dictate what that is, I think you do the sport a service for the young kids who are trying to throw as hard as they can. I think that would help.”
Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien and hockey Hall of Famer Jeremy Roenick were also on the panel that included medical experts at the Florida Hospital Orlando. The purpose of the symposium was to share the latest information on injuries and related health issues that impact the health of youth as they pursue the fitness benefits and rewards that come with sports’ activities. The symposium launched the inaugural Diamond Resorts Invitational.
Rick Wolff, the host of WFAN Radio’s Sports Edge, one of the great youth sports advocates, and was delighted at the Smoltz dictum. “Wow! This is a topic that has been near and dear to both me and my Dad (legendary sports broadcaster Bob Wolff) for years; in fact, Dad has said for decades that baseball needs to get rid of radar guns when scouting kids because of the inherent danger to their arms.”
Here are details of the tournament which will be televised on the Golf Channel:
The inaugural Diamond Resorts Invitational is set for Jan. 14-16 at the Golden Bear Golf Club in Windermere, FL. The 54-hole event, televised nationally by The Golf Channel, features a celebrity field of 70-plus sports and entertainment stars competing for $500,000 in prize money. Other prominent names entered are Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Justin Verlander, Brian McCann, Terry Francona, Jerry Rice, Marcus Allen, Richard Dent, Mark Rypien, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Danny Kannel, Johnny Damon, Reggie Jackson, Roger Clemens, Gaylord Perry, Eric Dickerson, Sterling Sharpe, Joe Theismann, Brian Urlacher, Alfonso Ribeiro and Jake Owen.
Florida Hospital Orlando is located at 601 E. Rollins St., Orlando, and the symposium was held in Werner Auditorium.
The full panel included: JOHN SMOLTZ, Hall of Fame pitcher; MARK RYPIEN, Super Bowl XXVI MVP; JEREMY ROENICK, Nine time NHL All Star and Hockey Hall of Famer; DR. MELVIN FIELD, M.D., Neurosurgical Director of Florida Hospital Neuroscience Institute; DR. WILLIAM FELIX-RODRIGUEZ, M.D. from Florida Hospital; and DR. RAYMUND WOO, Medical Director of Orthopedic Surgery for Florida Hospital for Children will take part in a public symposium on children’s health issues in youth sports today. The purpose of this symposium is to share the latest information on injuries and related health issues that impact the health of youth as they pursue the fitness benefits and rewards that come with sports’ activities; LEE JOHNSON, Vice President of Physician Strategic Development at Florida Hospital for Children, will serve as the moderator.