McAvoy Layne: Little League could defuse Korean peninsula |

McAvoy Layne: Little League could defuse Korean peninsula

Need a rescue line like I do? Try a Little League game. It will restore your faith in humanity. Witness those families up on the hillside looking after kids who are not their own.

Witness the coaches encouraging their young charges, and most of all, witness the players’ body language, it’s priceless. They have every nuance down, from knocking the dirt out of their cleats with the bat before stepping into the batter’s box, to spitting and grabbing their crotch when their coach isn’t looking.

This is not just baseball, it’s community nurturing, nation nurturing, and dare I say, global nurturing; South Korea won it all in 2014.

These little guys are learning rules of the game, yes, and they are learning rules of life, that is to say, not getting too caught up in losing, and not getting too caught up in winning, but treating those two imposters, as Kipling told us, the same.

In full disclosure, my nickname in Little League was “Tennis Shoe Ernie,” because my older brother’s hand-me-down tennis shoes were so big, and projected out in front of my glove so far, that whenever a ground ball came my way, well, that ball would strike my tennis shoe and hit me in the chin. Photographs taken by my family to chronicle that comedic error have been lost to time, though I have the cleft chin to show for it.

So the next day, once our “get away from it all Little League game” is behind us, and we have to confront the morning’s political news, how can we make Little League go to work for us? Actually, it’s easier than you might think…

We submit that Kim Jong-un of North Korea and Moon Jae-in of South Korea take up the challenge of a Korean Little League Baseball Tournament. It seems innocent enough, and nobody’s ego will be too badly bruised by the outcome. So let’s give it a try. I will umpire a few of the games myself, showing no noticeable partiality to one side or the other.

Just here I will confess to being a little jaded during one Little League game this past weekend in which my grandson was pulled from the lineup to allow another player to participate, and I muttered to myself in my outdoor voice, (and I shall clean this up for this fine family journal), “That was an ill-conceived call, Coach!”

But wouldn’t it be great if Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in were thrust into a venue where they found themselves looking out after kids who were not their own, perhaps the kids of their adversary, instead of looking down a gun barrel at each other? It can happen. Little Leagues are not that hard to organize, so let’s do it. Let’s call a time out from talking about the possibilities of nuclear warfare and introduce some Little Leaguers to the world stage.

Learn more about McAvoy Lane at

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