Leading Off

Leading Off: Documentary shows Harbaugh’s softer side

Jim Harbaugh can be standoffish, blunt and snarly, but there’s a soft side to the 49ers coach.

It was captured beautifully in the Comcast SportsNet Bay Area production “Peruball: Jim Harbaugh in South America,” a one-hour documentary that debuted Tuesday and will be repeated throughout the month, including tonight at 9 p.m. It chronicles Harbaugh’s humanitarian trip to Peru in June.

It was Harbaugh’s sixth mission to Peru, but it was the first time a camera crew went with him.

Harbaugh was joined by his three children (Jay, James and Grace) and CSN anchor Dave Feldman for his annual trip to Piura, a small town about 600 miles north of Lima in which most live in poverty. The mission included building houses and visiting sick and eldery residents.

Some of the moving material included Harbaugh charming scores of boys as he taught them the joys of Peruball, a mix of football, rugby and soccer.

Regardless of the setting, Harbaugh the coach is in his element, imploring effort and desire.

Feldman, a decades-long friend of Harbaugh’s, expertly drew out insight and flavor from the coach.

It’s must-see TV, even for those who don’t follow the 49ers.

Joe Davidson


What to watch

“Peruball: Jim Harbaugh in South America,”

9 p.m., CSNBA: Check out 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, the humanitarian.

What to do

Baseball, Houston at A’s, 7:05 p.m., O.co Coliseum: The A’s, who have lost six of seven, are 10-5 against the Astros this season, including 5-1 at the Coliseum.

Today’s poll

What would best describe 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh?

• Great coach and humanitarian

• Overrated coach

• It doesn’t matter, as long as he wins.

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday’s results

With which major-league team should the River Cats be affiliated?

• A’s: 46%

• Giants: 37%

• It doesn’t matter: 17%

Total results: 344