For Pete's Sake

Ned Yost, George Brett part of a video that encourages sportsmanship at youth games

YouTube screenshot

Bill Severns was the Milwaukee Brewers’ first-round pick in 1975 draft, but fell just short of the majors.

Severns spent three seasons at Class AAA with the Brewers, and in those years he befriending Ned Yost, who broke into the big leagues with Milwaukee.

They remain friends to this day, and they share similar feelings on what makes a good little league coach: be an encourager.

Severns, who lives in Prairie Village, wrote the book “Keepers of the Sandlot,” which was published in 2009. The rest of the book’s title is: “Coaching, Parenting and Playing for Keeps!”

That book has been turned into a documentary (“The Sandlot Journey”) and Yost was tapped for it. Severns traveled to Yost’s home in Georgia and filmed the Royals manager.

“He talked about playing fearlessly,” Severns said. “In the documentary, he talks about his coach on his Little League team growing up. If you can’t play fearlessly, you will have a hard time succeeding.”

In a preview of the documentary, Yost said when he attended his kids’ game that he never put pressure on them.

“I’ve been in baseball my whole life,” Yost said in the clip. “I’ve been a major-league coach or manager for 24 years, but I never one time, ever, did I ever say anything to my kids during a game ever, besides cheering...”

Severns also got to know George Brett, because both men have sons who are of the same age and played baseball together.

Brett is also part of the video.

Severns said kids should be allowed to enjoy sports, not worry about living up to the expectations of their parents.

“One minute, your kid is born and the next you’re driving home alone after dropping them off at college,” Severns joked.

“You just need to enjoy this time with your kids.”

Here is the promo for the video:

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @pgrathoff.

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