A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season
Macon, Illinois was said to be a town stuck in the Eisenhower era. Lynn Sweet was a hippie who was hired as the English teacher by a rather progressive administrator. He ended up being asked to coach the baseball team even though he had no experience coaching. His students loved him, and so the players loved him. Administration and the parents were not in love.
Even though he had no experience and his methods were unorthodox to say the least, he got results. His students learned to love reading and the players, even though they were told that practice was optional, showed up to practice and played to win. They made it to the state final, the smallest school to ever make it, and it has never happened again.
I almost gave up on this book, I was under the wire to read 90 books by the end of the year and was in a reading frenzy, for a while I thought this book was going to be about Lynn Sweet and his problems with the administration, quickly however, I realized the author was just setting the stage, it quickly progressed to the team and the boys.
Besides getting a history of Macon Illinois in 1971 and being introduced to Sweet’s laid back style of coaching, we also get a history of the boys, why they played, their family situation, how their friendship with each other affected the loyalty to the team. Also, the author takes us to the present day, we see how their dreams were fulfilled, where their skill and talent took them.
In all an informative enjoyable book.