Recommended by Laurie, the library's Communications Manager.
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The Southpawby Mark Harris
The sequel of this book, Bang The Drum Slowly, is more famous due to the movie version starring Robert DeNiro but I liked The Southpaw better. Henry Wiggen, a talented lefty pitcher, makes his way from small town star to big time hero while remaining refreshingly honest.
Are heroes born or created? Charlie Banks, all-star third baseman for the New York Giants isnt very interested in being a hero. But in trying to live up to young Joey Margolis expectations, thats how he ends up. This book is presented through the letters, notes and postcards exchanged between Joey and Charlie. Its very funny, sometime sappy, but youll laugh out loud at Joeys incredible chutzpah.
If you grew up listening to baseball games on the radio, youll identify with Doris Kearns Goodwins autobiographical book. Many dedicated female fans grew up knowing theyd never have the opportunity to play the game they so loved, yet followed it with heart and soul anyway. Baseball, specifically the Dodgers, cemented the bond between Goodwin and her father and set a parallel for her life.
This movie is a favorite of every Little Leaguer. Youll recognize a playground friend in every character and remember that magical time of childhood when you grabbed your mitt, hopped on your bike and went out to play, only to return tired and dirty when the streetlights went on. No grownups, no rule booksjust baseball. Watch this movie just once and sometime in July, youll find yourself saying, Im baking like a toasted cheeser.
This book was scandalous when it was originally released in 1970. Pitcher Jim Bouton wrote about his season with the New York Yankees and laid ruin to the mystical god-like status that ballplayers had, pre-Balco. League commissioner Bowie Kuhn tried to get Bouton to retract it. Its a hilarious and accurate portrayal of the mentality of many baseball players and managers, told with humor that was probably wasted on most of them. Bouton still isnt welcome at Yankee Stadium but Id be happy to meet him at the Rusty Nail and talk baseball any day.