Make a barehanded pickup: Grab a book about baseball

KIDS' CORNER

July 02, 1995|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

On those rainy summer days, most younger fans forget about baseball after reading the box scores. But the reading doesn't have to stop there.

At your local library and bookstore, there are shelves full of baseball books with fictional tales, illustrations and real-life stories.

Here are some of the more popular baseball books geared toward younger fans:

"Teammates" by Peter Golenbock is a winner of Redbook magazine's best children's picture book award. It centers on the true story of the friendship between Brooklyn Dodgers infielders Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese.

For fans just beginning baseball, "Baseball ABC" by Florence Cassen Mayers is a winner. It presents equipment, current superstars and basic rules through illustrations.

One book for the more advanced baseball student is "Answers to Baseball's Most Asked Questions" by Lou Vickery. It explains the inside information of baseball, such as managerial decisions and how to throw certain pitches.

If you want to stick with books with illustrations, these are other popular selections: "Baseball Superstars" by David Gowdy, "Red Foley's Cartoon History of Baseball" and "Heading Home: Growing Up in Little League" by Harry Connolly.

"Baseball Superstars" provides cartoons, biographies and last season's statistics for current players, such as Cal Ripken.

Along the same track, "Red Foley's Cartoon History of Baseball" focuses more on teams than individual players. Using a comic-strip format, Foley shows the most crucial moments in each major-league franchise's history.

"Heading Home: Growing Up in Little League" is like a "Hoop Dreams" for younger baseball fans. Through the collection of photographs, it takes fans along with a Maryland Little League squad for a full season.

Another uplifting book for Little Leaguers is "Sports Heroes: Baseball" by Mark Littleton. It contains stories about being a role model from such stars as Joe Carter and Orel Hershiser.

There are fictional stories, too. "A Game of Catch" by Richard Wilburn and "My Dad's Baseball" by Ron Cohen teach about baseball and relationships.

"A Game of Catch" is a story of three boys on a summer day learning about life while throwing around a baseball. "My Dad's Baseball" is about a father telling his son a story about a recovered Yogi Berra-autographed ball.

So, if you are tired of playing catch or watching a baseball game on television, remember there is a lot to learn about baseball from books.

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