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Jewish World Review Sept. 4, 2001 / 15 Elul, 5761

Steve Young

Steve Young
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Consumer Reports

Don't give up on that dream! -- (News Item: Danny Almonte, the unhittable Little League Bronx pitcher, is 14 years old, not 12)

Well, that didn't take long. The word is out and every over 40 softball team and rehab center have put out the call for next season.

Minor league busts, guys who never made it to the Big Show, who are unrecognizable to even the most avid fantasy baseball team owner, have one more opportunity to grab the national spotlight.

Little League season doesn't get going for a good seven months. Plenty of time for face lifts, hair grafts, male breast and belly reductions. Forgers and counterfeiters are going 24/7 reworking birth certificates and passports. The under 5'7" Nellie Foxes and Luis Aparicios of bygone years are once again in demand. The only prerequisites are that they can still hit the curve and have yet to die.

Eighty-five-year old, Samuel "Reds" Sklar is ecstatic. "I've always felt my boy has what it takes." Little Dickie Sklar, now "12," is roaring to hit the diamond. "My family is behind me. This could be my last chance. My wife just said, 'Go for it .'"

Little League officials are wary of the assault they'll face this year from age-challenged players, but they've already put out world-wide notice to local leagues to be on the lookout for age cues: enlarged prostates, lactose-intolerance, Kid Rock ignorance, used boxes of Hair Care For Men, AARP monthly subscriptions, Poly-grip, pictures of grandchildren, Preparation H.

If you are considering giving it one last shot, here are some tips for players:

  • Never ask for prune juice or anything "diet." Mountain Dew plays here.

  • Never boast about how many times you get up to visit the rest room at night.

  • Don't utter the word "roughage."

  • Never refer to the Beatles, Wings, John or Julian Lennon.

  • Don't talk about getting back in shape. Never let on that you've been around long enough to get out of shape.

  • Don't mention that they play those movie trailers way too loud.

  • Don't overuse the word dude.

  • Never refer to your record collection.

  • Mention how your parents used to wake you up to watch "Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place."

  • Always be ready to list the winners from the previous night's WWF SMACKDOWN.

  • When referring to a phone, don't make any circular dialing motions.

  • Don't call the umpire, "kid."

  • BURT REYNOLDS ALERT - If you feel you must wear a toupee, don't play Little League baseball. Teach it at the Learning Annex.

  • No white belts or any type of golf attire.

  • Have your wife, if she hasn't died yet, give you a magnifying glass, body shave. Remember...nose hairs mean no play.

  • You can actually cover liver spots by rubbing liver on them.

  • Try to have your tryout at a place where you can lie down so that all your loose skin will fall around to the back.

  • Use flesh-colored masking tape to pull back your neck or conceal extra skin by resting your chin on your fist.

  • Don't drive your mini-van.

  • Have your mate (or healthcare worker) wake you up in the middle of the night and ask you to list the five top shows on Nickelodeon.

  • Don't pick up your feet when you walk. The louder the shuffling sound, the more adolescent, the better.

  • Go to Venice Beach and without referring to your 21st century slang guide, name the first seven in-line skating maneuvers you see.

  • Don't limp. If you have no choice, blame it on those damn X-Games trials.

  • Watch MTV for twenty-four straight hours, then attempt to complete a simple addition equation.

  • Don't stand up straight. While this may well be from some degenerating bone condition, it also serves as a slacker cue. This is good.

  • Use a Razor Go-ped. There'll be less stress on arches and other osteoporosis problems. Just don't mention that you used to make these out of a crate.

  • Never shave in the dugout.


Steve Young is a Prism Award winner and a Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing and is author of "Great Failures Of The Extremely Successful. (Tallfellow Press). Comment by clicking here.

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© 2001, Steve Young