Monday, November 17, 2008

Little League Baseball's distinguished alumni club

At its Williamsport, Pa. headquarters, Little League Baseball has a Hall of Fame. It's a small gallery that celebrates a few dozens kid ballplayers who grew up to be stars in politics, movies, music, yes even journalism. For me, at least, the museum makes the statement that success in life comes even to those who were not youth sports prodigies. I'm referring to columnist George Will, a Hall of Fame inductee and alumnus of the Champaign, Illinois Little League.

In The Games Do Count, Will tells author Brian Kilmeade: "I played for the Mittendorf Funeral Home Panthers. Our color was black. I sometimes played second base but I also recall playing right field. But I was a seriously bad ballplayer. I was earnest but I had no talent whatsoever."

This month, Little League is congratulating two more former kid players, Joe Biden and David Petraeus. Apparently, neither was a standout pitcher or hitter - Petraeus's teammates couldn't pronounce his last name so called him "Peaches" - but the last time I checked both were having pretty good years in 2008.

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