April 27th, 2012
As a fan of the Boston Red Sox, and of baseball in general, the goal is always to win. Its first, last and everything in between. Nothing else matters…
But what about when there is something is more important than winning? What about overcoming your fears for yourself and your children, to bring something wonderful into their life?
Third Base for Life is the story of Josh Berkowitz, a doctor and lifelong Red Sox fan who lives in Newton, Mass.
When his son Gabe was 10, Josh, equipped with far more calm and patience than I could ever muster, gathered a team of young boys from the small Jewish day school his kids went to, and took them to Cooperstown Dreams Park, one of, if not the, most prestigious youth tournaments in the county.
This group of Jewish “Bad News Bears”, minus Kelly Leek and Amanda Whurlizer, joined 10,000 of the best young baseball players in the country. And they are seriously over matched; some of the boys have never played baseball, and one ever goes through the whole tournament without knowing the rules of the game!
In the time leading up to, and including the week in Cooperstown, you get to know Josh (who has a “unique” relationship with Sandy Koufax) , and his team, the Rashi Rams, and the community who loved and supported them, and you cannot help but feel for them as they live through this amazing experience of a lifetime.
And despite the fact that they fared about as well as expected, this team won FAR more; they learned to work as a team, be the very best you can be, and that bravery isn’t the absence of fear, it’s doing what scares you despite being afraid, and doing what’s right and good is better than being the best at something.
One of my favorite moments in the book is when one of the young pitchers, Phil, takes the mound, and starts throwing what he calls his “change-up”, which is thrown while all of his extremities go in different directions with no rhyme or reason. I imagine it looked like he was in great pain. Phil’s father, having never seen this “pitch”, insists his son is injured and demanded he be pulled from the game, despite Phil’s protests that it’s “Just my change-up”.
Available where good books are sold, Third Base for Life is a lovely, inspirational baseball and family story, with a great message–perfect for any parent, grandparent, or young fan of the game. Check it out!