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The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (Deep Focus) Paperback – June 14, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Deep Focus (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593764189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593764180
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,741,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Josh Wilker is the author of eleven books and writes about his life and his childhood baseball cards at Since his first posting in 2006, his site has been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, and He is a winner of the Howard Frank Mosher Prize for Short Fiction and has an MFA from Vermont College. He lives with his wife in Chicago.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stacy Helton on December 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Josh Wilker, the author of the amazing memoir CARDBOARD GODS, has submitted a slim, sociologically relevant dissertation on the 1977 film THE BAD NEWS BEARS IN BREAKING TRAINING for a series called Deep Focus ("A Novel Approach to Cinema") that also features studies on THEY LIVE, THE STING and HEATHERS, among others. Why the BEARS you may ask? Well, the author picked the subject and I found it totally relatable, and not only because Wilker and I were both born in 1968. What he has done to a marvelous degree in this book is not only look at this lost, cheaply made sequel, but also America in the late 1970s in that period between the turbulent 1960s and the Reagan-dominated 1980s. This was an era in which a film could be made about a little league team that travels from LA to Houston in a stolen van without an adult, a film unthinkable in today's age. For those not familiar with the sequel, the Bears are going to play an exhibition game at the Houston Astrodome against the Texas champs. The Bears are without Academy Winners Tatum O'Neal and Walter Matthau this trip, but have added Jimmy Baio as the "wop" pitcher. Once they get to Houston Kelly Leak's father, played by William Devane, becomes their de facto coach. What the film is most remembered for is the chant. Let me refresh. The game has been called by "those in charge" so that the next Astros game can start, but the kids were promised four innings. All the players reluctantly leave the field, except for Tanner, who gets chased by the security guards to the delight of the crowd (this is the illustration on the book cover). Eventually the Leaks lead the crowd in the chant LET THEM PLAY, and play resumes and (spoiler alert) the Bears win.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Even if you're only familiar with this movie in passing, this book is still immensely enjoyable. Wilker's insight, wit, and ability to write beautifully and movingly is on full display.

If you're familiar with Wilker's 'Cardboard Gods' work, you shouldn't miss this one.
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