Little League Confidential: One Coach's Completely Unauthorized Tale of Survival

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9780025429215: Little League Confidential: One Coach's Completely Unauthorized Tale of Survival

A journalist dad tells of his exhilarating experiences coaching his son's Little League team with anecdotes about a ballerina batter, an unfair umpire uncle, and other stories that provide a fresh perspective on an American institution.

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Review:

Journalist Bill Geist, who is familiar to viewers of the CBS Evening News, used to be a Little League coach in New Jersey. And he somehow lived to tell about it. When first published in 1992, Little League Confidential assumed cult status as a baseball classic, though some just considered it one very funny book. Geist reveals the ups and downs (well, mostly downs) of coaching a team sponsored by a local beauty salon. His portraits of players and parents and his thoughts on competition in small town New Jersey are heartfelt and hilarious.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A wry look at the perils of coaching Little League baseball in suburban New Jersey, this sporadically funny report by CBS correspondent Geist is a composite of ten seasons with unpredictable eight-to-ten-year-olds, rabid parents, and knavish rival coaches. Describing the March tryouts, when boys and girls are rated by the often conniving coaches, and the eight-team league draft, held in Commissioner ``Barney Foozle's'' family room, Geist reveals the chicanery and double-dealing that go into putting together the best team. Not everyone, it seems, thinks the kids are out just to have ``good, clean fun'': some coaches believe that they should learn ``sound values''; others think that winning is essential to the players' emotional development and future careers. And still other coaches ``picked kids with the best-looking mothers.'' Geist, a former New York Times columnist, showed his savvy by picking a kid with a pool in his backyard, perfect for the postseason party. To Geist, playing for fun ``is a value,'' and he sees to it that his Curl Up N' Dye Hair Salon team has a good time beating teams like the Victoria's Secret Wildkids and the Stool Concepts. His players include his own son and daughter; Emily Change, whose leadoff hits demoralized opposing pitchers; hotshot Byron ``Bad Ass'' McCarthy; and Anand, whose family shows up wearing sarongs and saris. Game by game (one is won on a homer by a young lady still in her ballet- class tutu), Geist's charges march to a showdown with Coach Knavery's Chem Lawn team, win on a late-inning, sugar-induced rally, and proceed to the Ridgewood (N.J.) World Series, where they lose a heartbreaker. Mildly amusing but more often strained or contrived; for a more serious, detailed look at Little League coaching, see Paul B. Brown's My Season On the Brink (reviewed above). -- Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Geist, Bill
Published by Macmillan Pub Co (1992)
ISBN 10: 0025429213 ISBN 13: 9780025429215
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