’30 for 30′ – ‘Little Big Men’: The miracle on grass

Senior Television Writer
09.01.10 14 Comments


I didn’t get a chance to watch “Little Big Men,” the latest “30 for 30” film, in advance, and since I’m slammed today, I’m going to keep this one short and sweet, right after the jump…

I thought Al Szymanski did a pretty good job of both picking a story (and one I don’t really remember from my childhood) and at choosing how to balance the time between the story of Kirkland’s improbable Little League World Series win over Tawain and then the aftermath of it. In a longer timeslot, he could have gone more in-depth about how Cody’s teammates dealt with having achieved their greatest fame at age 12, but in the time allotted, Cody’s story stood in nicely for the rest. (And the moment where one of the others got choked up talking about what Cody went through showed just how tight these guys were.)

What I didn’t like was the narration. Obviously, some kind of device was necessary to link together the story, and the parts of the voiceover that were purely expository were fine. But whenever the narration began to wax poetic about the beauty of baseball, etc., I cringed. It was both pretentious and unnecessary. If we’re watching this, we see how much the kids cared about each other and how much the game meant to them. Baseball for some reason inspires this kind of thing more than other sports, and much as I love the sport, I think my patience has worn thin with all these attempts to be lyrical about it.

But as with the Jimmy the Greek documentary from earlier in the series, “Little Big Men” had enough positives to overcome a very bad choice in the narration.

What did everybody else think?

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