Dolton, IL, June 26, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- Whatever Happened to Little League Baseball in the Inner City? examines the times in which we live and eras gone by, when Inner City parks in Chicago were filled with kids who were devoted to America’s favorite pastime, baseball. In his impassioned book, author Mark O’Neal looks at the various social, cultural, racial, and economic factors that have caused baseball to nearly vanish from Inner City communities. His book takes a close look at such disturbing factors as unemployment, drug use, gang violence, and decay in the Black family structure.
The book also offers positive solutions for the rejuvenation of a sport that has meant so much, he says, to so many generations of Inner City children. Why such a passion to save Inner City baseball? O’Neal says it is because through the decades, the game has given to so many kids a sense of self-esteem and taught them about cooperation, leadership, and teamwork—qualities that seem to be sadly missing from today’s high profile sports such as basketball, football, and now, soccer.
Whatever Happened to Little League Baseball in the Inner City? takes a close look at the decline of African-American baseball players from all levels of the sport and exposes the lack of baseball recruitment of black players. It also shows how the privatization of little league baseball has turned the game today into a rich-kids-only sport. But there is also good news, O’Neal reports, in the form of a program called the Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities Program (RBI), a program that has Major League Baseball pair up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to develop these leagues in impoverished neighborhoods.
Author Mark O’Neal played for Chicago’s South Side Little League for eleven summers (1974–1984), until he graduated from high school. Over the past twenty years, he says, most of those who played for South Side are successful, productive members of society. “I strongly believe,” O’Neal says, “that South Side helped mold us into adults with a sense of purpose as well as enabled many of us to turn our aggressive and competitive spirit into something positive.”
Retail Price(s): U.S. $9.95; CAN $12.95
Size and Format(s): 5.5 x 8.5 Paperback
Page count: 56
Availability: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, www.outskirts.com/markoneal