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Michael Lewis sizes up his daughter’s softball league

Thursday, December 15, 2011

imageThat’s a familiar byline on a Berkeleyside guest post today about the Albany Berkeley Girls Softball League, approaching its 30th season: “Moneyball” author Michael Lewis. His daughter pitches and plays outfield. An excerpt:


Our local softball league was, in one way, unprepared for success. The parents of the players had no problem with it, of course, and neither did the league officials. They may have started out cheering equally hard for both teams, but they wound up longing for more success. But, after their daughters had returned with six gaudy trophies, they had no place to put them.

There was one old equipment shed beside Fielding Field, and another, newer one beside Cougar Field, behind the Albany High School, but neither had room for this kind of hardware. And so the trophies were passed around from girl to girl, without ever finding a final resting shelf. No player wanted to keep a symbol of an achievement that belonged to all — and the truth was that they now shared an important quality with all great competitors. They were all more interested in future challenges than in past triumphs.

One day the trophies simply vanished. A rumor spread that league officials collected them and, in the dead of night, buried them under one of their softball fields.

Who knows if it is true? It should be. It would be very Berkeley.

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