I happened to fall over a short Associated Press story the other day about how Little League Baseball has granted its northern Virginia district jurisdiction over the planet Mars. No, I kid you not. This means that if life does exist on Mars, then this northern Virginia community has first rights.


Whoa there, Nellie. Is this Green Acres all over again? Has "Lisa" become the commissioner of Little League Baseball?


Apparently, the district administrator, a chap named Michael Pobat, was looking for a theme as northern Virginia got ready to host the annual state tournament to determine who goes to Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series. From the story, I gather Mr. Pobat felt that a Martian theme would be the perfect way to get kids excited about science so he petitioned Little League to annex the planet into the northern Virginia district.


Okay, folks, now any financial planner worth his or her salt can readily see what this means. Marketing people are already lining up at the door. In the first place, the state tournament is being held in July and you better believe what candy bar will be featured at the concession stands. You got it! The good ole Mars bar. And not to be outdone, volunteers at the concession stands will also be wearing antennae. Yes sir, no stone is being left unturned.


Of course, any question as to what the color of the local Little League team's uniforms should be? Right! No quarrel there, at least until the Mars boys and girls get into the tournament.


Got any ideas for a nickname? Martians are "supposed" to be small? A perfect fit.


Think of the other, endless possibilities: Mars bars, red uniforms, a mascot that looks like Ray Walston (remember "My Favorite Martian"?), Robin Williams as the manager in his Mork costume, and Orson Welles doing the play-by-play broadcast.


This is a financial planner's goldmine. The only clinker here may be the age requirements. Keep in mind that Little League Baseball has an age limit of 12. How old are these kids from Mars? Is a year on Mars equivalent to our 365 days? And besides, what's a day anyway? This could cause all kinds of problems especially if we find that the Mars "kids" are so good that they start to resemble the teams from Taiwan a few years ago that swept straight Little League Championships.


And let's not even think about those home games. Consider these points:

  • A year on Mars lasts 687 Earth days, so the baseball season will be longer.
  • Gravity is only .375 that of Earth, so home runs will travel a lot farther.
  • At its closest, Mars is about 35 million miles from Earth. At its farthest, it is 399 million miles from Earth. For any team on Mars that has to travel to Earth for the Little League Interplanetary Series, it will take months and sometimes years to make the trip. Until a faster method of travel is developed, the 12-year-old tournament team may have to be chosen when they are 8 or 9 years old.
  • Gravity on Mars is only one-third that of Earth. That means if you can reach a point seven feet high to snag a fly ball on Earth, you could jump 21 feet high on Mars.

And then what happens if Major League Baseball thinks these kids are so good that they are offering them million-dollar contracts? Ah, the ears on the financial planners have perked up. Who will be the first agent, the first planner to get in there and start flashing engagement/representation papers?As I said, the possibilities here are endless.

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