Wednesday again? My God, where do they come from?! It’s like the savage hordes coming over the hill, but instead of sword-wielding huns it’s, um, hump days. Well, let’s see what’s in the old mailbox, shall we?
Full disclosure, this is an abbreviated, slightly edited version of an email I received today:
I have been a Little League President for the past eight years. My son and I read your book, Six Innings, together for summer reading . He actually read without my nagging! He loved it! He so related to Colin’s and the benchwarmer’s feelings. In fact, at a league meeting last night I encouraged all the managers to read along with their boys. Thank you again for putting in words the experiences that are so meaningful to all players.
I appreciate the kind words. Like you, I’ve been very involved with Little League for the past ten years or so (I’m currently BURIED with “Fall Ball” details). You know, I remember the first signing I did for this book. I assumed that I’d be seeing all sorts of baseball-crazy boys — the star athletes — and it surprised me at first when a lot of the boys looking for signatures were clearly not star players. They were, of course, the readers. Or, as I thought to myself, they were the boys who maybe loved the game, even if the game didn’t love them back. I think it’s so important to remember those kids. The ones who struggle to catch a ball or make a hit. We tend to focus too much on All-Stars and the so-called best players. That’s why I focused on a typical team, rather than a team of All-Stars in, say, the Little League World Series. I wanted all types. I’m glad that I had Patrick Wong on that team, the boy who wasn’t a star, full of doubt and worry; and glad, too, that when he made a play it was a simple one. He didn’t suddenly hit a grand slam. He hit a foul ball. He worked out a walk. He caught a grounder (and, yes, struck out twice and made an error, too). But he contributed in his way.