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Six Good Innings Hardcover – July 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006147357X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061473579
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,472,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Toms River, New Jersey, has a history in Little League baseball, winning the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in 1998. In 2006, its team advanced farther in the competition than any team had in recent years, and—with most of the key players returning—expectations for 2007 were very high. Anything less than a trip to Williamsport would be disappointing. Kreidler, a regular contributor to ESPN and the author of the extraordinary Four Days to Glory (2006), returns with another in-depth examination of an off-the-beaten-path sports story. With virtually unlimited access to the team’s coaches, players, and parents, Kreidler follows the season-long quest for Little League immortality. In an era when too many Little League stories are about parental misbehavior, the most compelling angle to emerge here is the remarkably selfless dedication of everyone involved, from coach to players to parents. This is the story of a community effort to build a champion, and it is a genuine feel-good saga, a fascinating, warm, and decidedly entertaining look inside one branch of youth sports. --Wes Lukowsky

Review

“A quick and enthralling read.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Unflinching...Meticulously researched and earnestly reported to a fault.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Customer Reviews

A compelling read that any baseball fan or lover of good books would enjoy.
Mark Hennicke
It's not until the final chapter that I get to really know a little of each of these boys, and it's not enough.
Roger G. Williams
My main criticism of the book, however, is its rather dry and sometimes redundant style.
B. Niedt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark F. Braun VINE VOICE on August 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
SIX GOOD INNINGS tells the tale and pretty much carries the flavor of how a small town little league team begins to learn and appreciate their game. Nicely constructed prose from author Kreidler, himself an ESPN guy shows that he knows the feel of a good bat, belting one perfectly on that sweet spot and the resonating sound of getting it right.

Toms River would produce a great group of kids who learn about winning and losing... and winning and losing all over again. The transition from youthful innocence to a wiser bunch of lads who learn how to keep going on is a compelling read, and so perfectly American that it deserves kudos and your time.

The bottom line is I loved it and couldn't put it down for too long. Let it break your heart a little because it certainly will. This is little league with clarity and soul.

Mark Braun
Executive Director
Old Timers' Baseball Association of Chicago
Since 1919
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Slevin VINE VOICE on August 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am impressed with Six Good Innings, having spent time in Toms River and seeing the environment, it is amazing the work that goes into developing the next best Little League team. The timing of this book coming out at the beginnning of the Little League WS is great too. You hear about these young people putting in long hours to become the best in their age group, in their town. Some have historically gone on to the pros. Is this hard work any different than what goes into being a Child Prodigy in Piano or Violin? Great work and encouraging. Worth it for those who want to see their kids get involved in sports.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bronx book nerd VINE VOICE on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As the father of a Little Leaguer, I was able to connect easily with the stories and emotions portrayed in this book. It is a very quick read, as Kreidel captures the drama, the joys and failures of Little League players, families and communities, as they sometimes carry on their shoulders the weight of becoming the ultimate champions of America's pasttime at the Little League level.

Kreidel documents the 2007 Little League season for one of the Toms River All Star teams, a community that got on the map due to the improbable appearence of one of its Little League teams 3 out of 5 years in the 1990's, inclduing a Little League World Championship over perennial champion Japan. This victory came with its blessings and curses, both of which are dealt with in engaging form by Kriegel: the accolades, fame and influx of resources; the pressure to repeat that has been laid upon the shoulders of each Little League generation to come.

Kreidel covers the story mostly from the perspective of the team's coach, and includes substantial insights, introspection and commentary from the kids as well. A highly recommended insider's view on the heart and soul of a community that bulds its dreams on the baseball diamond.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Leroe VINE VOICE on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a native of the Jersey Shore now living in a Massachusetts town that recently sent a team to Williamsport, I was doubly interested in this book...but anyone with an interest in baseball should find Mark Kreidler's account worthwhile. My only criticism is that I was hoping for a bit more narrative along with the history. NJ has always lived in the shadow of NY, and you can only imagine how the media attention was welcome to Toms River, something to celebrate and bask in.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kreidler takes a season-long look at a fascinating subject. He focuses on one team for one playoff season as they push to make the little league world series. These boys of little league are so young (12 and 13) but so determined to make it that they give more to training than most adults give to their full-time jobs. Kreidler does a great job of giving a balanced look at the situation, largely reserving judgment for the readers.

The book raises a number of great issues: Why are youth sports so competitive? Why do we push kids to achieve such specialization so early? Is it worth the potential cost in both injury and lost youth to have kids push this hard?

Overall, the book itself is written very well. It was entertaining enough that I read it within 24 hours of starting it. I was kind of annoyed by the numerous digressions and side stories (I wanted to find out what happened to the team!) but overall the book was very good and recommended to all baseball fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Kenworthy on July 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed Kreidler's last book about Iowa's passion for the sport of wrestling. But when I read the premise of Kreidler's latest offering - New Jersey town's obsession with Little League baseball - I confess I was a little skeptical. The images that came to mind were of overbearing, "helicopter" parents living their dreams through their kids' sports success, and boys who were so driven to succeed at the game of baseball that they sacrificed an important part of their childhood. But with Kreidler's story-telling skills and his astute character portraits, he thoroughly humanizes the coaches, parents, and kids of this town. To be sure, these kids are playing baseball at an elite level. But they are still kids after all. In one poignant scene, at a team swim party after one tough game, the boys seem to have put behind them the heartache baseball inevitably causes while plainly maintaining their love of the game. A great read if you love baseball, and especially if you have kids in Little League.
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