Little League, Big Dreams is an eye-opening book about the Little League World Series, the kids involved, the work needed, and the extremes coaches and parents will take in order to get there. After a deep history of Little League baseball, Euchner goes into great detail when discussing every aspect of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania experience. As the Little League World Series continues to grow in popularity, kids, coaches, and parents are quickly put under the spotlight. As Euchner explains, this spotlight can have a negative effect on all involved, especially coaches, causing many to go above and beyond what many people would consider effective coaching strategies.
The detail and order of the book was well planned and thought out. What made the book very entertaining was the way he used real people, coaches, players, and teams. During the book, Euchner uses a variety of teams, but one that automatically comes to mind is that of the 2005 Maitland, Florida All-Stars. The Maitland team was coached by two well-known former major league baseball players, Dante Bichette and Mike Stanley. Both are revealed and quoted within the book, but Bichette and his son, Dante Junior, are taken into much greater detail. The book reveals a great deal about Bichette’s Little League coaching philosophy and later states that Dante Junior is home schooled because his focus is on baseball rather than education. The Bichette story is one of many throughout the book that show exactly what extremes some people take with their children and teams.
The overall depth and research were presented in a very entertaining way. Euchner was able to personally get into the minds of players, coaches, and parents and utilize their thoughts for a book on the overall inner-workings of Little League that concentrate not only on the event itself but the psychology and thoughts of those who participate. I personally played Little League and was one game from the World Series, so everything in the book was more of a reminder of how things were. While you need no Little League or baseball background to enjoy this book, just a little bit of experience may sweeten the entertaining material.
Denny Foster is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Denny in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Cleveland Steamers.
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