From the St. Petersburg Times-
TAMPA - The signs at the New Tampa Little League field are clear: Please practice good sportsmanship at all times.So apparently Mr. Grady is getting ready to sue the league. How adult a behavior from a parent to a ten-year-old. Then Fred Grady is a lawyer. They act like spoiled juveniles on a regular basis.
League officials say one parent has missed the message, and they've asked him to leave the park more than once.
But that parent also happens to be a lawyer for one of the largest law firms in Florida. Now he's alleging that the New Tampa Little League defamed his character in front of parents, friends and clients, and he has hinted strongly at legal action.
Fred Grady, 47, a construction lawyer for Holland & Knight in Tampa, sent league president Monica Wooden a letter on Holland & Knight stationery. The letter, dated June 11, says the league officers' actions and accusations damaged him. Pursuant to state law, the letter gives Wooden 30 days to send him a copy of the league's insurance policies and coverage.
That letter capped off a series of e-mail exchanges between Grady and Wooden in which Grady repeatedly asked for a letter of apology from Linda Harrell, a league director who ordered him off the field on April 28. Grady wanted the letter sent to all parents, players and coaches on his son's team, and he wanted it in time for the end-of-the-season party so he could read it aloud, Wooden said.
The incident began at a baseball game in which Grady filled in as a coach for his son's team. Harrell, a board member, was behind the dugout, she said, when she saw Grady bonk a kid on the head with a plastic drink bottle.Little league parents don't have the best of reputations. My father used to be Vice-President and co-founder of a church youth sports league on Long Island. I don't recall any incidents from those days. Unfortunately I can't ask my deceased father about it.
"Oh, my God," Harrell recalled saying. "I can't believe I just saw you hit a kid!"
Grady, in his e-mails to the league, denies ever hitting the child, who turned out to be his 10-year-old son, Heath. The stories continue to diverge from there.
Harrell, whose duties include maintaining order at the field on game days, said she asked Grady to speak with her away from the dugout. She says that he became belligerent and refused, so she threatened to call security. At one point, she said, Grady tried to explain his actions to another director. But that director deferred to Harrell, who then pointed to the parking lot. Grady left, she said.
Grady's version of events is detailed in the letter he sent Wooden, the one in which he asks for the apology and also that Harrell be suspended until the matter is resolved.
Grady wrote that he had not hit his son. The players had been spitting sunflower seeds into empty drink bottles, and throwing seeds at each other, he wrote. After telling the boys repeatedly to stop, Grady saw his own son grab a bottle and throw seeds at another player "at which point I grabbed the bottle out of his hand. I took the bottle threw it in the trash and told the other players to do the same," he wrote. "Unfortunately, Ms. Harrell who was not in the dugout accused me of hitting Heath."
I do remember an episode where someone questioned my father's umpiring for the same league. My Dad responded "The boy I just called out on strikes was my son."
Suggestion to Fred Grady of Holland & Knight- Grow up and get your own blog. If you want to throw a temper tantrum throw it there. You can do it anonymously without causing further embarrassment to your son.
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Perri Nelson, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl,