by Ruth Hanford Morhard
Just in time for spring training and Women’s History month! My book club pick for March is an age-old story of a mother looking to keep her son out of trouble.
But this one is true. And it’s one that everyone will recognize after the first few pages.
The Great Depression had hit America hard, and WWII was just around the corner. Baseball was the country’s passion, and a great distraction from all of life’s hardships. Mrs. Morhard’s son was getting up to no good and she was looking for solutions.
So what’s a mother to do but convince the mayor of her town (a suburb of Cleveland) to let her son and his friends use a neglected tract of land next to the town hall to play baseball? Coached of course, by Mrs. Morhard and other mothers.
And who knew that the first pitch wasn’t as much a fastball as it was a snowball… that grew rapidly into teams, and then leagues. Or that it would not only attract the interest, but the attention and the action of members of the Cleveland Indians who showed up to teach the kids baseball skills and watch the action.
And who could have thought these boys and their mother’s little detention experiment would inspire an interest in youth baseball so great that soon there would be something called the Junior American League, and then the Junior National Leagues?!
What Mrs. Morhard unwittingly did, you see, was to pioneer an organized sport that became what’s known today as baseball’s Little League.
And did you guess that’s what this book was all about when you first started reading about it here?