Monday, October 21, 2019

Review of "Little League Old-timers," by Don Creighton

Review of

Little League Old-timers, by Don Creighton

Four out of five stars

 Kit Dawson is in his early teen years and very excited about the upcoming Little League season. While his team was not very good last year, he has high expectations for the upcoming season. However, all of his hopes are dashed when ground is broken for the new shopping center in the location of their baseball field.

 There appears to be no alternative site, Kit and his friends look everywhere in Millbrook for a location suitable for a baseball field. Somewhat by accident, Kit encounters a large plot of land that is the Marley Home for the aged. With no resident under 70, they are people that want peace and quiet above else. Therefore, while the Marley Home residents agree to allow a baseball field to be constructed on their property, they set very strict rules regarding noise levels. Fans and players are not allowed to yell and cheer. The season gets started and Kit’s team is an average one, winning at roughly a .500 pace. Kit proves to be a team leader, encouraging others and filling in wherever there is the greatest need.

 While this story is based on a season of Little League baseball, it is really about the youth and elderly reconnecting and finding common ground. One of the rules of the Marley Home is that to be a resident, you cannot have any relatives. Therefore, the people there have almost no contact with anyone outside the home. Although Kit’s team does not win the championship, the real message of this book is that the elderly need to have a purpose in their lives and interact with others, specifically the younger generation. There is a touching scene when one of the elderly women collapses and is rushed to the hospital. When she is recovering, she asks Kit to visit her and gives him some sage advice about life. Therefore, this is first and foremost a book about social cohesion rather than baseball.

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