Synopses & Reviews
Little League baseball has come a long way. Organized into leagues and tournaments, today it's big business, a global entity in over a hundred countries. And every year in modest Williamsport, Pennsylvania, it all comes down to 16 teams of kids eying the ultimate prize: the Little League World Series.
The 2005 World Series featured Little League's greatest ending on its biggest stage. Now seen in over five million homes, the thrilling final game of the Series was the most dramatic in the fifty-eight year history of the Little League. With full access to the players, coaches and parents associated with both teams who played in that game, Charles Euchner delivers an astonishing and dramatic narrative that delves into every aspect of the teams involved: from training, coaching and parenting stressed out kids to politics, controversy and the ever expanding role of corporations.
Welcome to the hype, the hope and the soul of youth baseball.
"Even those with only a passing interest in baseball will be intrigued by this fascinating look at Little League, 'the largest amateur sports organization in the world.' The book and its unsparing look at the harsh reality of youth sports just might pique the interest of parents whose kids play in the more than 8,000 officially sanctioned League teams. Utilizing extensive interviews with current and former players and coaches and a no-frills sports writing style that captures both the excitement and the nuances of the game, Euchner (Last Nine Innings) follows teams ranging from Hawaii to Florida who competed in the 10-day 2005 Little League World Series. Throughout his exhaustive coverage, he rarely loses sight of the League's main problem, 'the professionalism of childhood, the development of leagues and tournaments that turn sports into a fulltime job before a kid grows any facial hair.' Euchner succeeds at presenting the impressive intensity of 12-year-old athletes while also showing the sad fact that young pitchers who could be Major League stars 'never make it because they blow their arms out in Little League.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Readers can expect to learn a great deal about the history of Little League and the stories behind many teams. This well-written book will inform and entertain; recommended..." Library Journal
"[Euchner] gives coaches (and parents) their due....'Give the game back to the kids,' Euchner pleads. Adults, take heed." Booklist
About the Author
Charles Euchner is the author and editor of seven books, a former college professor, city planner, and journalist. His books include Playing the Field: Why Sports Teams Move and Cities Fight to Keep Them; The Umpire's Handbook. He has appeared on ABC's "Nightline," ESPN's "Sports Center," NPR's "Morning Edition" etc, and has been quoted extensively in the national press.