Softball, airplanes, world championships: the exciting lives of pre-baptism Amish

A little piece of an interview with an Ohio Old Order Amish friend, ‘Leon’, speaking back in September of sports, cars and other matters adolescent:

‘When we first started we were 18-and-under’  Leon explains, talking about his softball team, ‘and we won the state of Ohio tournament, went down to Texas, and won the world tournament–Amish guys, Amish boys, 18-and-under.’

‘I think I was 22 years old, we went out to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, there was a big world tournament out there.’

‘Went out there two years in a row–actually flew out…we weren’t baptized yet, so we drove actually, but we wanted to take a jet ride–that was cool!’

‘So we went out there two years in a row…the first year we placed seventh, and the next year we placed second…we were pretty good actually,’  Leon admits.

‘You were a national powerhouse,’ I correct.

’18-and-under, we traveled with bus…well, 18-and-under, a lot of us guys weren’t even driving yet, we didn’t get our license until we were 18.

‘Is 18 the driving age in Ohio?’  I ask.

‘No, you can get them at 16, you have to take a test, you know, your parents, whatever…’ Leon trails off.

’18, you can go and get them yourself, without having the parents involved…so about all the Amish just go that route.’

‘Because mom and dad ain’t gonna go along,’ I offer.

‘A lot of ’em won’t’  Leon explains. ‘They’ll get out there soon enough anyway, so why push ’em.’

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    1. Dave Carrig

      Interesting –

      Reminds me of an interview I heard from a “former” Amish on CNN during the Nikel Mines tragedy.

      The interviewer (Nancy Grace I think) asked the guy why he left the Amish. He said it was because he wanted to play basketball in high school.

      I thought it was rather humerous – because we were waiting for some profound answer such as they were too strict – or too harsh – or something deeper on a spiritual level.

      My wife and I just looked at each other and laughed. As someone who loves sports – I definately understand where he is coming from.

    2. I like it. Very honest and human answer. Quite a few sports fans out there among the Amish, for that matter.