Opening day is less than three weeks away.
April 3rd is that glorious spring day when the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd gives hope to fans of every team that this will be their year.
The sights and sounds that give rise to that eternal hope have been ingrained in the American experience since 1845, when Alexander Cartwright laid down the first set of rules for the modern game of baseball.
For me, the great thing about baseball is the way kids pick up the essentials of the sport and learn to play it.
The game is simple. Throw the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball, run!
Baseball may remain a relatively simple game, but the history of it has been anything but.
Richard Panchyk’s new book, Baseball History for Kids offers a fascinating look at baseball’s complex and fascinating transformation into a professional sport that is now played all over the world. The author takes young readers through key eras and events of the game with engaging descriptions, highlighted by firsthand interviews with more than 175 greats of the game.
It’s a fun book to read, with loads of photos and interesting sidebar stories. The author makes frequent comparisons between the past and present, such as the fact that facial hair on players was unheard of for most of the 20th century. Or how today’s minimum major league salary is one hundred times higher than it was in the 1950s. Or that during the “dead ball era,” the 1902 National League home run champion had just six homers, all of them inside-the-park.
But the biggest kick you and your kids will get out of this book will be the 19 hands-on activities peppered throughout each chapter. They’re an engaging way for you to introduce the game of baseball to your children. Sit down and build a miniature version of your favorite stadium, or cook up some homemade Cracker Jack. Hold a contest to see who can throw a ball the farthest or the closest to a target. Teach your kids to keep score and to throw a palm ball.
This book is packed with fun activities to share with your kids. In fact, it’s going to be as much fun for you as it will be for them. You’ll easily pass along your love for baseball, while also sparking an interest in the history of our country. This book can be a gateway to further learning about World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, and the growth of the American West.
Thanks to the good folks at Chicago Review Press, I just happen to have a copy of Baseball History for Kids to give away to one of my readers. Use the widget below, and I’ll pick a winner next week!