Summer youth travel baseball is upon us. Back in the early 1990s, when youth travel sports teams were first growing popular — when parents first perceived them as a possible ticket to their child winning a college athletic scholarship — I surveyed Chicago Cubs players regarding the number of games they had played as 11- and 12-year-old Little Leaguers. Most recalled playing a dozen or so, maybe as many as 18. The idea of competing in 50 games, 100 or even more seemed ludicrous to them. Larry Bowa, the ferociously competitive former All-Star shortstop who later managed the San Diego…

Ron Berler

Author of “Raising the Curve: A Year Inside One of America’s 45,000* Failing Public Schools.” Has written for the New York Times Magazine, Wired and

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