professornana (professornana) wrote,

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take me out to the ball game

I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. One of the rewards for being a nerdy student in those childhood days was that the Pittsburgh Pirate office would issue two free tickets to a summer game for those students earning straight As. I remember once taking one of my sisters who came home from the game at Forbes Field (yes, outdoors!) and told my mother that "Yogi Bear got a run around." As for me, I was in love with the athletic grace that was Roberto Clemente. I say all this as prelude to a new book I adore partly because I fell in love with baseball as a child and partly because I fell in love with this story.

JUST AS GOOD by Chris Crowe (Candlewick, January 2012) is the story of Larry Doby. The year is 1947 and Doby has just signed with the Cleveland Indians. He was the first African American to play for the American League (Jackie Robinson played in the National League). Told from the point of view of a young boy, readers learn of Doby's first home run in the 1948 World Series, a series Cleveland went on to win. Doby's stats were impressive and, combined with the talent of Jackie Robinson, the two helped pave the way for other men of color to integrate baseball. Crowe related the story through his young narrator, a perfect choice for this exciting time in baseball. Mike Benny's illustrations are a perfect accompaniement to the text. <456>
Tags: baseball, history, picture books
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