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A BOY WITH A BAT AND A BALL
Little League, an activity that seems designed primarily to give adults something to do with their evenings, got in the soup last week in Hempstead, N.Y. Mrs. Joan Leite kept her 9-year-old son Chris out of a Little League game one evening because he had not been doing as well as she thought he should be doing in school. However, she gave him permission to attend practice the next night, which he did, accompanied by his grandmother. At practice the boy's manager, 42-year-old Louis Castellano Jr., told the grandmother that it was not right to use Little League as a method of disciplining the child, and when the grandmother got home she informed the boy's mother of what had happened.
Mrs. Leite promptly blew the whistle on Mr. Castellano. She wrote to league officials and to other parents, saying that the manager had shouted down her mother in public and, further, that he was playing his 7-year-old son on the team even though Little League rules say that a boy must be at least 8. Castellano was thereupon relieved of his managerial duties. But he then brought suit in Supreme Court in Nassau County, asking that he be reinstated in his unpaid job as manager. Local papers, including the neighboring New York City dailies, had a field day with the story, running pictures of Chris and his mother and the manager, printing interviews, reporting on a double and a home run that the youngster hit in a subsequent game.
And all because a 9-year-old boy apparently didn't do his homework.
Maybe it's time for boys' baseball to be given back to the boys. Let them play in the afternoon, for instance, when parents are too busy to come around, either to watch or manage. Let the adults supply the fields and the necessary bats and balls and gloves (uniforms are not necessary). Then let the kids go out and play ball, by themselves, for the fun of it, the way they used to before all the corner lots were taken over by housing developments and all the kids' games became superorganized.
ASHE OF HEAD
SPLIT OR TIGHT?
Golf courses seem to be crowded and slow everywhere, and especially in Los Angeles. In the U.S. there is one golf course for every 20,786 people. In Los Angeles—despite its reputation as the sports center of the country—there is only one golf course for every 157,704 people. It gets terribly jammed on the city's municipal courses, and even if you can afford the $22,000 to join the Los Angeles Country Club or the $13,000 for Bel-Air you are still apt to find yourself on weekends waiting monotonously on each tee, sharing the fairways with at least two other foursomes and eventually holing out on the 18th green a weary five hours after you started.
But Ray Goates, golf manager of the L.A. City Recreation and Parks Department, is doing something about the delays. "Television is the thing that really slowed up golf," Goates argues. "When people saw players like Ben Hogan and Cary Middlecoff waiting and waiting before taking their shots, they thought that was the way they should play the game. It's nothing unusual to see a 20 handicapper studying a putt as though the U.S. Open title depended on it."