Local Author new book on Youth Baseball, including Decatur Youth Athletics

Decatur News Online has an article on Hal Jacobs, a local author who has a new book, Ball Crazy, that includes the Decatur Youth Athletics baseball program:

The book chronicles your son’s team in the Druid Hills Youth Sports program at Medlock Park. What is your take on the youth baseball scene in and around Decatur?
Jacobs: Our two sons played in the recreational leagues of the City of Decatur and Druid Hills. City of Decatur was low-key and informal; Medlock was more instructive and competitive. Both were great in their own ways and provided lots of support.
The season I describe in the book involved a summer team of Druid Hills all-stars, which played in a few travel-ball tournaments to get ready for the PONY playoffs. In the book I give a little historical overview of how youth baseball has evolved over the last 70 or so years into something more specialized and over-organized. Parents have more options than ever before — and with that comes more stress.
I also describe a game between our little all-star team and a team from East Cobb (the gold standard for Atlanta travel teams), which at times felt like a contest between citizen-farmers and Hessian mercenaries.
Talk about the difference in your connection to the game as a child versus the ultra-organized game your son knows?

Jacobs: Both experiences are valuable in their own way. Sandlot baseball taught me how to play, organize and negotiate on my own terms without any adults around. Imagination counted more than discipline. I loved having pine trees for bases. Organized baseball taught my sons how to work with adults and the value of practice, delayed gratification, and controlling emotions. They acquired more confidence and focus during their adolescent years than I did. But I probably spent a lot more time daydreaming.

Mr. Jacobs will have a book signing event on Saturday, April 17th at the Eagle Eye Bookstore:

Hal Jacobs signs BALL CRAZY
Saturday, April 17th
, 3:00pm – 6:30pm
Eagle Eye Boostore, 2076 N.Decatur Rd., Decatur, GA 30033 (

Description: There’s going to be a fundraising component to the event – proceeds from the sale of each book will be donated to Druid Hills Youth Sports Association (aka Medlock Park). Hal will be signing books & grilling hotdogs, from 3-5pm on Saturday, April 17th; we’ll have wine & cheese from 5-6:30pm. Ball Crazy provides insight into why some men become so obsessed with their child’s team, and does so by describing the action, intensity and magic of games (in a way that even nonfans can relate). It’s an honest look at the effect of competitive youth sports on the psychological and physical health of both players and parents. Hal Jacobs is a freelance writer and an editor at Emory University. He is a former book review columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, writing a regular column called “Reading the South.”

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