A local kids' team made it to the finals of the Little League World Series. It made me think about the value and emphasis we place on kids' sports, and inspired this column.
IT ALL BEGINS WITH A SIMPLE GAME OF CATCH
Date: Sunday, August 24, 2003
Edition: Palm Beach Section: LOCAL Page: 1B
Byline: HOWARD GOODMAN COMMENTARY
A game of catch.
That's how it starts.
A father throws a ball back and forth with a son. Or, increasingly, a daughter.
And he starts building a mostly wordless bond that links his memories of being young to his dreams for his child's future.
In our culture it's a primal bond, even as it's challenged by the kicking of soccer balls, or the swinging of tennis racket and golf club. For a few minutes -- before dinner, maybe, or in the quickly fading light before nightfall -- father and child step outside and reconnect by means of ball and glove.
Back and forth. Back and forth.
As if you didn't know, East Boynton Beach's Little Leaguers won the U.S. championship over Saugus, Mass., Saturday night. Today this appealing crop of 11- and 12-year-olds will be playing Japan for Williamsport's whole enchilada: the world championship. But long before they reached the televised pinnacle of the Little League World Series in those little jewels of baseball diamonds in the Pennsylvania hills, each Boynton kid started with a game of catch.