THE REAL NAME of the Little League team was the B’nai B’rith, but everyone called them the B’nai Bagels. Their manager was Bessie Setzer, but every one called her Mother Bagel, and the team grew to love her and even Spencer, Brother Bagel, their coach.
Which was fine for everyone but Mark Setzer. For him it made problems. Because with a mother as manager and a brother as coach, he felt he had lost his right to be awful on the field and had gained a lot of sticky situations. Then, in addition to worrying about his performance on the baseball team, be had to worry about his performance at his Bar Mitzvah and about his friend, Hersch, who had moved to another part of town and found another best friend.
Practicing in the relative privacy of The Projects, where there were some very good and very interesting players, helped Mark’s game. It took more than that to help the rest, though. And there were some tough moments before Mark felt competent to handle the social situations and moral decisions his position demanded of him.