A Coach's Letter to His Sonby Mel Allen, John Thompson (Illustrator)
Baseball is a game steeped in tradition, played from backyards to major league stadiums, and cheered by millions of fans. But at its most intimate and fundamental level, baseball is a game grounded in fathers and sons: in playing catch in the twilight hours after supper, in sons standing before old fences swinging at their father's pitches. Creative Editions is proud to present A Coach's Letter to His Son, a nostalgic tribute to the game.
The words of Mel Allen and sketches and photo-realistic paintings by John Thompson combine to convey a coach's story and regrets to his son, a baseball player not yet in his teens. Reflecting on his own baseball childhood, the importance of family, and the high-pressure atmosphere that surrounds youth sports at even the earliest levels of competition today, the narrator comes to reassess his priorities and rediscover the purity of baseball. In an age when "America's pastime" is increasingly defined by statistics, awards, and championships, A Coach's Letter to His Son is a powerful and touching reminder of the heart of the game.
Mel Allen has worked as an editor for Yankee Magazine for more than two decades and has taught writing at the University of Massachusetts since 2001. A lifelong fan of baseball, he still makes time to pitch balls to his son Daniel, now a college player. A Coach's Letter to His Son is his first picture book. He has two sons and lives in New Hampshire.
John Thompson played baseball in college before turning his focus to art. He has since worked as an illustrator for a diverse array of clients, including NASA, the US Air Force, and Sports Illustrated. He has alsoillustrated a number of acclaimed children's books, including Freedom Like Sunlight. He lives in New York and is a professor of art at Syracuse University.
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This story is a great tale of childhood baseball, yet it is deeper than most. Yes, it is about those warm, sunny days where children experience the euphoria of victory, but it is also about the relationships built around the game. Children learn about trust, integrity, and the thrill of success long before the words mean anything. Through sports, and specifically baseball, kids experience the most important things in life: fun, learning, and the acquisition of knowledge. It is a knowledge lost to their coaches, a knowledge of what exactly the meaning is behind the game, behind sports. It is a child's separation between fun and winning that allows the game to be pure. A Coach's Letter to His Son explores the joys of childhood and how parents and coaches have, sadly, drifted from the games purpose, that of fun and healthy activity, to the dark, sinister lure of pure competition for the sake of winning. This book made me realize again what our greatest pastime is truly about and that it is not too late to reverse the corruption that is now becoming far too common among parents and coaches. If you are a coach or a parent of one who plays baseball, or even sports in general, you owe it to yourself to read this book, and even more so to the kids.