Today is the day baseball enthusiasts have been waiting for….OPENING DAY!!!! The start of a long sports season of America’s past-time. The time of year where hot dogs, cracker jacks, and popcorn is dinner. When families don their children in plastic mitts and logo emblazoned ballcaps. And doing the traditional 7th inning stretch whilst singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. So many memories of going to ballgames.
Also, today marks the first official launch day of my blog! The idea came about a couple months ago when I signed up for an online class to learn how to blog – just for fun. Following several book blogs and engaging in Reading Challenges, something clicked once I started developing the class test site. I found myself dreaming up ideas, spending hours doing research on best blogging practices as well as joining several social media groups to gain support and advice and voila! Throughout this first year of blogging, I’ll post several times of what I am learning and what the journey has been like.
With it being a special day of the year for baseball (as well as for me personally), today’s post is dedicated to America’s game.
Growing up a Phillies fan, spring time meant the boys were back and hopes of a winning season was on my mind. Although out in the MidWest, my love for the Phanatic will not falter. Today, we are facing off against the Boston Red Sox, on our turf. Home field advantage. Although I cannot be there physically, I will be rocking my red and white stripes at work.
In the spirit of the season, here is a list of some of the best baseball books:
Shoeless Joe – W.P. Kinsella
“‘If you build it, he will come.’ These mysterious words, spoken by an Iowa baseball announcer, inspire Ray Kinsella to carve a baseball diamond in his cornfield in honor of his hero, the baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson. What follows is both a rich, nostalgic look at one of our most cherished national pastimes and a remarkable story about fathers and sons, love and family, and the inimitable joy of finding your way home”
The Natural – Bernard Malamud
“The Natural, Bernard Malamud’s first novel, published in 1952, is also the first—and some would say still the best—novel ever written about baseball. In it Malamud, usually appreciated for his unerring portrayals of postwar Jewish life, took on very different material—the story of a superbly gifted “natural” at play in the fields of the old daylight baseball era—and invested it with the hardscrabble poetry, at once grand and altogether believable, that runs through all his best work.”
The Art of Fielding – Chad Harbach
“At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended. Henry’s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry’s gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners’ team captain and Henry’s best friend, realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert’s daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.”
The Boys of Summer – Roger Kahn
“This is a book about young men who learned to play baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson. It is a book by and about a sportswriter who grew up near Ebbets Field, and who had the good fortune in the 1950s to cover the Dodgers for the Herald Tribune. This is a book about what happened to Jackie, Carl Erskine, Pee Wee Reese, and the others when their glory days were behind them. In short, it is a book about America, about fathers and sons, prejudice and courage, triumph and disaster, and told with warmth, humor, wit, candor, and love.”
What other books about baseball are perfect for this time of year?