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Little League Confidential: One Coach's Completely Unauthorized Tale of Survival Paperback – February 9, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Journalist Bill Geist, who is familiar to viewers of the CBS Evening News, used to be a Little League coach in New Jersey. And he somehow lived to tell about it. When first published in 1992, Little League Confidential assumed cult status as a baseball classic, though some just considered it one very funny book. Geist reveals the ups and downs (well, mostly downs) of coaching a team sponsored by a local beauty salon. His portraits of players and parents and his thoughts on competition in small town New Jersey are heartfelt and hilarious. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This Little League coach's account of his woes, travails and soul storms in the course of one season is side-splitting. Geist, a CBS News correspondent, lives in Ridgewood, N.J., where he has shepherded preadolescents on the diamond for nine years and, to his amazement, has survived. He describes the draft system for securing players and a shrewd angle-worker who rigged the system. He analyzes the four major types of coaches: "It's only a game, so let's just have fun" (the nerd, according to the kids); "Win or I'll kill you" (the asshole, according to the kids); "We're here to build character, to learn life's lessons" (the despicable preacher, according to Geist); "I pick the kids with the best-looking mothers" (attribution superfluous). He writes of the games, with pitchers flinging balls three feet over the batters' heads, outfielders aiming for third base but throwing to first and a few tyros who are actually good. For anyone in need of a good laugh. First serial to Parents magazine; Literary Guild featured alternate.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (February 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440508770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440508779
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael R. Chernick on February 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The humorist columnist Bill Geist had many years of experience coaching his son's little league baseball and kids basketball and his daughter's softball team. He relates his experiences with his usual wit, sarcasm and humor. The book focuses on a particular season of little league baseball where he was able to work with his son Willie's team and actually win the league championship by upsetting Knavery's team in the final game of the season. The tale tells how he bends the rules (though not as much as some other) in a way that still allows the weak players to have fun and yet stay competitive. There is a large degree of truth to the various caricatures of players, coaches and parents that he presents in this tale. But some of the stories are so incredible and it seems like fiction is mixed with reality but clearly it is based on real experience. I relate to many of the issues he brings out. ...
In the epologue Geist confesses that he want his son Willie to be a star player but was satisfied that he made the high school varisty teams. In the end no matter how good or bad they are in little league they all eventually stop playing to do other things that interest them more or they find to have more success and rewards.

To illustrate the humor in the final game losing 12-4 Geist gives the kids sugar treats to pick up their energy. A rally starts but thinking ahead with the worst hitter Monique likely to come up with two outs, Geist gets a 40 ounce drink and gets her to leave on a bathroom break. ... This book has short easy to read chapters and integrates Geist's softball and basketball experiences in the theme of the little league season whereas Dunow had long chapters going back and forth from little league with his son to his childhood experiences with his father. Both books are good in their own way. But this one is much easier to read and more light hearted.
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Format: Paperback
A very entertaining read, but for those in the know -- Geist captures real life in Little League Baseball. Having grown up regarded as a Little League superstar, I was exposed to much of what Geist refers to as how parents act in a variety of settings at the ball fields and beyond. However, having continued my Little League "career" as a coach, I witnessed some of the funniest and sometimes disturbing actions and reactions of parents of the kids on my team.
Geist puts on paper what nearly every Little League coach experiences. For anyone who has ever played in Little League baseball or other youth sports, or for those whose children have been involved in community athletics, this real look behind the scenes is a must read. Unless you are one of those parents who utilize the youth athletic system as a baby sitting service, you'll fully appreciate what goes on behind the scenes and you might even learn a little about your own behavior.
Take a step into the hillarious psychological and political game of Little League Baseball and meet the entire cast that helps mold the future of America's Favorite Pastime!
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Format: Paperback
This is a must read for every Little League coach. The author wrote "City Slickers" (the movie starring Billy Crystal). If you coach Little League, you will laugh till you cry. And, you will recognize some of the same characters represented in the book at your Little League park.
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Format: Paperback
I've been coaching Little League for five years now, and loved reading this account of Little League from about 20 years ago. The stereotypical depictions of coaches that Geist uses are still dead-on accurate, as are his descriptions of how bad the catching equipment is, and how to hide a bad ballplayer that you have to play in the infield. This is a priceless look at Little League ball that anyone who has ever coached should enjoy.

There are lots of laughs to be had, and you'll find yourself sharing parts with other coaches you know.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone involved in coaching kids will relate to this often hilariious book. Great perspective on the entire subculture of youth baseball which is becoming oh so serious. Characters encountered by Geist represent universal types inhabiting little league fields and stands across the country.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I do a ton of reading and just went back and re-read this book. This is probably my favorite all-time book. This book has to be the funniest one I've ever read. Geist is not only a gifted writer, he tweaks all the right people and no irony goes unnoticed.
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Format: Paperback
If you are involved with Little League, you will see many true moments in this book. Your perpspecitve may be any of player, parent, coach, umpire, spectator. It is quite humorous and will have you both laughing and shaking your head.
Especially good for new coaches. You may have heard that Little League is "very political". It is. The author highlights many ways that it is and also gives very good pointers on how you can get "advantages" in this "non-competitive" environment.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has to be one of the funniest books I've ever read. Especially since I've gone through the Little League dad experience. Geist is a brilliant comedic writer. I loved this book so much I bought copies to give to others. Hilarious from start to finish.
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