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Robertson loves her Sparks National Little Leaguers
by Damian Tromerhauser
Apr 01, 2012 | 1947 views | 3 3 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Nathan Orme - Lori Robertson, seen here with the Giants of the Sparks National Little League Majors division, is the league’s president and puts in hundreds of volunteer hours for the love of the kids.
Tribune photo by Nathan Orme - Lori Robertson, seen here with the Giants of the Sparks National Little League Majors division, is the league’s president and puts in hundreds of volunteer hours for the love of the kids.
This past weekend little league baseball kicked off throughout the Sparks area. With many kids returning to the diamond after a long offseason of eagerly awaiting the chance to lace up their cleats and flash their leather and others donning a baseball uniform for the first time, the thrill of baseball was palpable in the air throughout the Rail City. Lori Robertson, the president of Sparks National Little League, was just as excited as the kids for the new season.

“This is the best time,” Robertson said. “We work all year long for these three months. This is what we work for, the actual play and the time spent out on the field. We have tournaments and all-stars coming in June and July and this is what the kids work for. All season long when we’re working on stuff, this is what it’s for. This is the best time of the year. There’s nothing more exciting to watch these kids go out and play.”

While baseball holds a special place in Robertson’s heart, she said she believes that children should participate in youth sports regardless of what field or court it is on.

“I think every child should play a sport,” Robertson said. “It’s not just baseball. Whether it is baseball, football, soccer, cheerleading or basketball or whatever sport. I think any sport is good for kids. I don’t care what it is, they have to get out and do a sport. It is a proven fact that children who play sports get in less trouble. It’s the team unity and the self-worth. They learn so much about themselves. They know that they have a coach that they can count on. Whatever it is, I just think it’s important for kids to play sports.”

Robertson’s love of sports and the kids that play it is clear and it is that passion that led her to get involved with SNLL in the first place.

With all three of her children playing baseball, Robertson decided three years ago that she wanted to become more involved. After asking a few questions about how things were ran and attending a league board meeting, Robertson said she was stunned by the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in order to make everything run smoothly.

“I went to a board meeting and I came home and I was just shocked by all of the things that go into making a baseball season go on and the lack of participation from parents,” Robertson said. “I came home and I told my husband ‘We need to do something’ and he said ‘Good, lets’ go do something,’ so we both joined the board and got involved.”

Spending her first season with the league as a member of the board, Robertson became the parents’ auxiliary in her second year with SNLL, handling and organizing fundraisers and other similar events. Now, in her third year with the league, Robertson was elected president of Sparks National.

“The gentleman who was president had been with the league for a long time but he had taken a job that kept him out of town a lot,” Robertson said. “They were afraid that he wouldn’t be able to be here all the time because he was working so far away from Sparks. So this past year when I was elected president I said ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’”

For the first year president, the pace of the task at hand has not slowed since Robertson took office.

“It has definitely been a lot of work,” Robertson said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize that anybody who works in a youth organization like this is strictly a volunteer. We don’t get paid for our time. We are always doing something related to baseball. Even when the kids aren’t on the field or things aren’t going on, we’re still doing stuff behind the scenes to make sure the kids have a good season. So it never stops. I think last year the average volunteer on the board puts in over 400 hours in a year.”

Despite the amount of work and hours the position has required of Robertson, she did not hesitate to give the reason why she does it all.

“The kids,” Robertson said. “I love my kids and I love all the kids. If I don’t do it, who’s going to do it? And that’s basically it. Put up or shut up. I’m very passionate about my kids’ ball. When people ask how many kids I have, I say 400 because I’m very passionate about these kids. Being born and raised in Sparks, I just care so much about the area and the kids that are here.”

With such a zeal for the game and the kids in her league, Robertson said she is going to enjoy every moment of the season to come.

“There is nothing more fabulous than watching the kids play,” Robertson said. “Like on Opening Night, to watch all those kids out on the field doing the Star Spangled Banner and standing there watching the flag, it was the most beautiful thing to watch. When these kids, especially the littler kids, when they go out there and there’s a smile on their face and the excitement and their running the wrong way and everybody is cheering and clapping, what about that could you not love?”
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April 02, 2012
Baseball. A wonderful sport. America's past time. Something every child should experience. It hurts me to know that people like Lori Robertson receive attention for being so two faced. What people need to know is what she does behind the scenes. This woman actively pursued the stoppage of many young players and their seasons before they had even started. Robertson states, "I think every child should play a sport". What a joke. If she really felt this way she would let kids play no matter where they lived and on teams they had been with for practices having already started the fundamental teamwork this great sport thrives on. What a damn shame.
April 03, 2012

That is untrue. She very much wanted them to play for us we all waited for them to say they would come play for us. There are boundaries for a reason and we just abide by the rules. Who wouldnt want to take more kids that live in our zone. If they hadn't even started as you stated then how would they be "on teams they had been with for practices having already started the fundamental teamwork this great sport thrives on" We will continue to stand our ground we have done nothing wrong. You use Lori's name so freely how about not hiding behind "lumpdump".

April 03, 2012

I'm sorry that you have such little life that all you can do is go around and make false accusations towards Mrs. Robertson. If you knew one thing about her then you would understand what she has fought for. The fight has been for childern of all ages to be allowed to play baseball within where they live and with other childern that they go to school with. She has pursued in making these childerns experiances with baseball better than they have had opportunities in the past for the faults of ADULTS that wish to ruin any chances of them going on. I feel sorry for you that you have such little confidence and self-respect for yourself and your league that all you can do is bash other people for trying to do well.
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