Many big league ballplayers of today leave the game in their mid or late 30s. A lot of them spend their retirement years someplace warm and often around baseball, either in the professional or, sometimes, at the collegiate level.
Two accomplished, retired ballplayers are continuing their work with the local Little Leagues that bear their names. In a movie, titled Milwaukee’s Diamonds in the Rough, that premieres on Milwaukee Public TV this evening at 7 p.m., filmmaker Mark Siegrist introduces us to Felix Mantilla and James Beckum, whose lives are reflected in the young players they help shape.
"Perhaps one of the biggest values is self-confidence," Siegrist says. "When a young person in these leagues starts to feel confident about themselves when learning the fundamentals of the game and by spending a lot of time with nurturing coaches, it's really something special."