DOUGHERTY: Spring and ping are in the air

I love spring because with it comes the warmer weather, fresh possibilities and the eternal optimism that comes with a new baseball season.

Yes, I am a baseball fanatic, but I hate the pinging sound of aluminum bats. The trend for some colleges and summer leagues is a switch to new composite bats, but the great majority of youth leagues still hang on to their “traditions” of the past 30 years or so and the supposed cost savings of using aluminum bats.

The sad part of that development is that two or three generations of boys and girls in this country have grown up, had their fun with baseball and/or softball and never known the joyful sound of a well-struck ball coming off of a wooden bat.

You might tell me that such a feeling of wistfulness on my part really doesn’t matter and is wasted because those children never knew what they were missing, even if I am correct about the magic of the crack of the bat.

Oh, ye of little faith.

It does matter because I will realize that all those children didn’t experience the joy that I and millions of other kids did during our childhood. And I will feel sad for them.

Mike Dougherty is editor of the Poteau Daily News. E-mail him at