Little Big Man

This short sports documentary recalls a time, 1982, when Kirkland was just a bedroom suburb, not the unaffordable gold coast it is today. Directed by Al Szymanski and Peter Franchella, Little Big Man is part of ESPN's "30 for 30" series, which celebrates its three decades on the air (well, cable). Back in '82, ABC's Wide World of Sports actually covered the Little League World Series, with Jim McKay commenting. The reason for all that attention was an all-star club from Kirkland, facing invincible defending champion Taiwan in the series final. On the mound for Kirkland was a 12-year-old who weighed 174 lbs., a kind of mini Babe Ruth, named Cody Webster. Care to guess how the game turned out? Little Big Man contains its share of awful narration ("the candle that illuminates childhood memories...") and shows 40,000 fans chanting "USA, USA!," but it also touches on the letdown for guys, now in their 40s, who were never going to play pro ball. Back in the day, the P-I's Emmett Watson warned of "peaking young." And today, one of that Kirkland team's coaches scoffs at soft, unathletic "kids wanting to go home and watch Sponge-Bob." Times have certainly changed. Check local TV listings to confirm air time. BRIAN MILLER

Tue., Aug. 31, 5 p.m., 2010

 
comments powered by Disqus