“Say It Ain’t So, Joe!”

If you had the opportunity to read the blog I posted about baseball last year, you know my feelings about the sport. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, you can see it here.

Since I last expressed my true feelings on the All-American game, nothing has changed. I still find baseball uninspiring. Not even peanuts and Cracker Jacks can pique my interest. Maybe a beer … or two … or three … or four would help, but I doubt it. I’d just end up with a headache and feeling bloated.

I must admit not all things about baseball are boring. I’ve learned to appreciate a few baseball terms – like cheese, donut, lollipop, meatball, and pancake. They conjure up some pretty delicious thoughts. On the other hand, the term spit ball grosses me out.

Even though I harbor negative feelings about the sport, I don’t want to taint the opinions of my library students – especially when there are some great baseball books for them to enjoy.

Cool Baseball Facts, written by Kathryn Clay, is a book that has some interesting information. The reading level is for younger students, but I’ve used the book with older groups, too. I pitch questions at them from the facts included in the book. Sometimes they get a hit. Other times they strike out. It’s a great way to get them actively involved.

Baseball isn’t for everyone, but I don’t want to drop the ball when it comes to giving others the opportunity to immerse themselves in the sport. Just because I’m the one out in left field doesn’t mean I’m a total screwball. I don’t want to be accused of having my foot in the bucket. I’m willing to step up to the plate and knock the cover off the ball to get kids interested in reading – even if it means reading books about baseball. Who knows, with the right attitude, this could be a whole new ball game for me!

Baseball picture books I recommend:

How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball written and illustrated by David Shannon (Blue Sky Press, 2012)

Bats at the Ballgame written and illustrated by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010)

Baseball Saved Us written by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee (Lee & Low Books, 1995)

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