Busters At Bat

Kids from the projects learn baseball, and a bit of hope

H---tw-----g is a loathsome and disgusting word, not suitable for a family journal, and it will not be used here. But Daniel Coyle's narrative of a Little League season in Chicago's most notoriously septic housing project does make the reader feel, briefly, that the odds on the human race are no worse than 3 to 2 against.

Hard Ball: A Season in the Projects (Putnam; 317 pages; $22.95) tells the true story of an enterprise so hopeless and ridiculous that it bursts through the limits of ordinary absurdity and emerges, grinning like a fool, on the other side. A bunch of...

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