Contributors: Jul. 12, 1999

ANDREW FERGUSON, a TIME contributor since 1996, can draw upon his experience as a presidential speechwriter when he writes about politics. But this week he draws upon his experience as a father of two--Gillum, 8, and Emily, 6--for our cover story on kids' athletics. Earlier this spring, Dad spent every Saturday driving his players to the ballpark, cheering and, when the ball machine was down, subbing his writing arm for the Iron Mike. He is no rookie, though. "In grade school I played a lot of sports," he says. "The difference is, we would just bring our friends and some equipment...

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