Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#SOL17: Batter Up - More than a Handful of Baseball Books

In October, 2015 when Rob had come home from the hospital and was healing from a staph infection, radiation treatments and chemo, he and I watched the Mets in the playoffs. We exchanged texts with my brother Brendan as we watched. It was a lot of fun. Prior to that it had been years since I watched baseball. I could still recall in the early 1970s, driving with my dad in his trusty VW bug and listening to AM radio coverage of the Mets. I remember my dad listening as Nolan Ryan pitched his way to a no hitter and recall my dad saying, Mary, we have a sure winner here. I'm not sure if the joy I felt then had something to do with listening to a game,  being with just my dad, or perhaps both--but I recall the time fondly.  

With spring upon us and baseball warming up, I hope the list inspires you to "pitch a few books" to others and to read to children.

1. Picture Books

  1. Abbott, Bud & Lou Costello. (2013). Who's On First? Illustrated by John Martz. Quirk Books: Philadelphia, PA
  2. Adler, David A. (2007). Campy: The Story of Roy Campanella. Illustrated by Gordon James. New York: Viking Juvenile.
  3. Adler, David A.  (2001). Lou Gehrig &  I. Illustrated by Terry Widener. New York: Sandpiper.
  4. Bildner, Phil. (2011). Unforgettable Season: Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and the Record-Setting Summer of 1941. Illustrated by S.D. Schindler. New York:  Putnam Juvenile.
  5. Bildner, Phil. (2006). Shoeless Joe & Betsy Black. Illustrated by C.F. Payne. New York:  Simon & Schuster.
  6. Borden, Louise. (2014). Baseball Is... Illustrated by Raúl Colón. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
  7. Bowen, Fred. (2010). No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season. Illustrated by Chuck Pyle. New York: Dutton Juvenile.
  8. Burleigh, Robert. (2007). Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson: Against the Odds. Illustrated by Mike Wimmer. New York: Sandpiper.
  9. Burleigh, Robert. (2003). Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth. Illustrated by Mike Wimmer. New York: Sandpiper.
  10. Churin, Nancy. (2016). The William Hoy Story. Illustrated by Jez Tuya. New York: Albert Whitman & Company.
  11. Cline-Ransome, Lisa. (2003). Satchel Paige. Illustrated by James E.Ransome. New York: Aladdin.
  12. Corey, Shana. (2006). Players in PigtailsIllustrated by Rebecca Gibbon. New York: Scholastic.
  13. Curtis, Gavin. (2001). The Bat Boy and His Violin. Illustrated by E.B Lewis. New York: Aladdin.
  14. Gilles, Almira Astudillo. (2001). Willie Wins. Illustrated by Carl Angel. New York: Lee & Low.
  15. Golenbock, Peter. (2012). ABCs of Baseball. Illustrated by Dan Andreasen. New York: Dial Books. 
  16. Golenbock, Peter. (2005). Hank Aaron: Brave in Every Way. Illustrated by Don Lee. New York: Lee & Low.
  17. Golenbock, Peter. (1992). Teammates. Illustrated by Paul Bacon. New York: Sandpiper.
  18. Green, Michelle Y. (2004). A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. New York: Puffin Books.
  19. Hopkinson, Deborah. (2006). Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings. Illustrated by Terry Widener. New York: Atheneum/Anne Schwartz Books.
  20. Hubbard, Crystal. (2005). Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl’s Baseball Dream. Illustrated by Randy Duburke. New York: Lee & Low.
  21. Isadora, Rachel. (2005).  Luke Goes to Bat. New York: Putnam Juvenile.
  22. Johnson, Angela. (2007). Just Like Josh Gibson. Illustrated by Beth Peck. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  23. Kusugak, Michael (Inuit). (2017). Baseball Bats for Christmas. Illustrated by Vladana Langer Krykorka. Toronto, Ontario: Annick Press.
  24. Lorbiecki, Marybeth. (2006). Jackie's Bat. Illustrated by Brian Pinkney. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  25. Mandel, Peter. (2000.) Say Hey! Illustrated by Don Tate. New York: Hyperion.
  26. Michelson, Richard. (2006). Across the Alley. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. New York: Harcourt.
  27. Michelson, Richard. (2011). Lipman Pike: America’s First Home Run King. Illustrated by Zachary Pullen. Ann Arbor, MI: Sleeping Bear Press.
  28. Mochizuki, Ken. (1995). Baseball Saved Us. Illustrated by Don Lee. New York:  Lee & Low.
  29. Moss, Marissa. (2016). Barbed Wire Baseball: How One Man Brought Hope to the Japanese Internment Camps of WWII.  New York: Harry N. Abrams.
  30. Moss, Marissa. (2004). Mighty Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen. Illustrated by C.F. Payne. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  31. Nash, Ogden. (2011). Lineup for Yesterday. Illustrated by C.F. Payne. Mankato, MN: Creative Editions.
  32. Negron, Ray. (2006). The Boy of Steel: Baseball Dream Come True. Illustrated by Laura Seeley. New York: Harper Collins.
  33. Nelson, Kadir. (2008). We Are The Ship: The Story Of Negro League Baseball. New York: Jump at the Sun.
  34. Okimoto, Jean Davies. (2002). Dear Ichiro. Illustrated by Doug Keith. Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Books.
  35. Posada, Jorge. (2010). Play Ball! Illustrated by Raul Colon. New York: Paula Wiseman Books.
  36. Rappaport, Doreen. (2000). Dirt on Their Skirts: The Story of the Young Women Who Won the World Championship. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. New York: Dial.
  37. Robinson, Sharon. (2009). Testing the Ice: A True Story about Jackie Robinson. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. New York: Scholastic Press.
  38. Shore, Diane Z. & Jessica Alexander. (2011). This is the Game. Illustrated by Owen Smith. New York: HarperCollins.
  39. Tavares, Matt. (2016).  Becoming Babe Ruth. Sommerville, MA: Candlewick.
  40. Tavares, Matt. 2015). Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  41. Tavares, Matt. (2011). MudballSomerville, MA: Candlewick.
  42. Tavares, Matt. (2009). Oliver's GameSomerville, MA: Candlewick.
  43. Tavares, Matt. (2000/2012).  Zachary's Ball. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  44. Uhlberg, Myron. 2005. Dad, Jackie, And Me. Illustrated by Colin Bootman. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree.
  45. Vernick, Audrey. (2016). The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith HoughtonIllustrated by Steve Salerno. New York: Clarion.
  46. Vernick, Audrey. (2012). Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team. Illustrated by Steve Salerno. New York: Clarion.
  47. Vernick, Audrey. (2010). She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story. Illustrated by Don Tate. New York: Collins.
  48. Winter, Jonah. (2017). Mickey Mantel: The Commerce Comet. Illustrated by C.F. Payne. New York: Schwartz & Wade.
  49. Winter, Jonah. (2016)You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! Illustrated by Andre Carriho. New York: Schwartz & Wade.
  50. Winter, Jonah. (2014). Joltin' Joe DiMaggioIllustrated by James Ransome. New York: Atheneum.
  51. Winter, Jonah. (2008). Roberto Clemente: The Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Illustrated by Raul Colon. New York: Atheneum.
  52. Wise, Bill. (2012). Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy. Illustrated by Adam Gustavson. New York: : Lee & Low.
  53. Wise, Bill. (2009). Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball PioneerIllustrated by Bill Farnsworth. New York: Lee & Low.
  54. Yolen, Jane. (2010). All Star! Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever. Illustrated by Jim Burke. New York: Philomel.


  1. Edelson, Noah. (2005). Cooperstown Dreams: Poems about Baseball and Other Things That Make a Difference. Illustrated by Hannah Edelson. Sherman Oaks, CA: Mighty Oak Media.
  2. Fehler, Gene. (2009). Change-Up: Baseball Poems. Illustrated by Donald Wu. New York: Clarion.
  3. Florian, Doug. (2012). Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers.
  4. Fried, Gabriel. (2014). Heart of the Order: Baseball Poems. New York: Persea.
  5. Graves, Donald. (1996). Baseball, Snakes and Summer Squash: Poems about Growing Up. Illustrated by Paul Birling. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mill Press.
  6. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. (1993). Extra Innings: Baseball Poems. Illustrated by Scott Medlock. New York: Harcourt.
  7. Janeczko, Paul B. (1998). That Sweet Diamond Baseball Poems. Illustrated by Carole Katchen. New York: Atheneum.
  8. Maddax, Marjorie. (2009). Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems. Illustrated by John Sandford. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.
  9. Morrison, Lillian. (1992). At the Crack of the Bat: Baseball Poems. Illustrated by Steve Cieslawski. New York: Hyperion.
  10. Prelutsky, Jack. (2007). Good Sports: Rhymes about Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More.  Illustrated by Chris Raschka. New York: Knopf.
  11. Raczka, Rob. (2010). GUYKU: Haiku for Boys. Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. New York: Houghton Mifflin. (includes a haiku about baseball cards)
  12. Rodriguez, Alex. (2012). Out of the Ballpark. Illustrated by Frank Morrison. New York: HarperCollins. 
  13. Smith Jr., Charles R. (2012). Stars in the Shadows: The Negro League All-Star Game of 1934. Illustrated by Frank Morrison. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
  14. Smith, Charles. (2004). Diamond Life: Baseball Sights, Sounds, and Swings. New York: Orchard.
  15. Thayer, Ernest. (2002). Casey At the Bat. Illustrated by Leroy Neiman. Introduction by Joe Torre. New York: Ecco.
  16.  Thayer, Ernest. (2000). Casey at the Bat: A Ballad at the Republic in the Year 1888. Illustrated by Christopher Bing. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle.

Informational, Graphic Novel, Memoir, and Novel
  1. Bretón, Marcos. (2003). Home Is Everything: The Latino Baseball Story: From the Barrio to the Major Leagues. Photographs by Jose Luis Villegas. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.
  2. Chronicle Books Staff. (2009). B Is for Baseball: Running the Bases from A to Z. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.
  3. Cieradkowski, Gary. (2015). The League of Outsider Baseball: An Illustrated History of Baseball’s Forgotten Heroes.  Touchstone.
  4. Charlton, James & Sally Cook. (2014). How to Speak Baseball: An Illustrated Guide to Ballpark Banter. llustrated by Ross MacDonald. New York: Margaret K. McElderry.
  5. Cook, Sally and James Charlton. (2007). Hey Batta Batta Swing! The Wild Old Days of Baseball. Illustrated by Ross MacDonald. New York: Margaret K. McElderry.
  6. Curlee, Lynn. (2004). Ball Park: The Story of America's Baseball Fields. New York: Atheneum.
  7. Fletcher, Ralph. "Baseball" in Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid. New York: Square Fish.
  8. Herzog, Brad. (2004). H is for Home Run: A Baseball Alphabet. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press.
  9. Jorgensen, Katrina. (2016). Ballpark Eats Recipes Inspired by America’s Baseball Stadiums (Sports Illustrated Kids). Mantako, MN: Capstone Young Readers.
  10. Robinson, Sharon. (2016). The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend. New York: Scholastic Press.
  11. Robinson, Sharon. (2004). Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America. New York: Scholastic.
  12. Santiago, Wilfred. (2014). 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics.   
  13. Winter, Jonah. (2013). Beisbol: Latino Baseball Pioneers and Legends. New York: Lee & Low Books.
  14. Winter, Jonah. (1999). Fair Ball!: 14 Great Stars from Baseball's Negro Leagues. New York: Scholastic.
  15. Wong, Steven. (2007). Baseball Treasures. Illustrated by Susan Einstein. New York: HarperCollins.


  1. This is an amazing list. thank you so much for sharing!

  2. WOW! What a list! My two favorite baseball books are Ann E. Burg's novel in verse "All the Broken Pieces," and David James Duncan's "The Brothers K." I'm not a baseball fan per se, but they are both superb books.

  3. Wonderful list, Mary Ann. I've read a few since I've been reviewing, love the Tavares book, Growing Up Pedro, and Vernick's The Kid from Diamond Street. Thanks!

    1. I love each of Tavares's books and the three by Audrey Vernick.

  4. Baseball evokes such great memories for me too with my Dad, as we suffered through all the near misses with the Red Sox. I come from a long line of Sox fans. My grandfather's last words were, "What's the Sox score?" I had no idea that there were SO many baseball related books. Thank you for this.

    1. Your mention of the Rd Sox reminds me of the Yankees. Before I was born and when I was an infant, the Yankees would rent our home in Leonia, NJ during the summer months for coaches to use during the baseball season.

  5. I am drooling over this list - I'm such a baseball freak. Thanks, Mary Ann!

  6. I will be exploring and sharing this list. Thanks so much for including my books!

    1. Loved each of those! Glad you were able to see your work mentioned.

  7. What a great list! A priceless resource. Thank you for sharing, Mary Ann!

  8. I'm the artist/writer of "The League of Outsider Baseball". I m on an extended business trip to New Jersey and I'm sitting here having my lunch. I'm nt having a very good week, and then I came across your blog, and see that you listed my book with so many other books that I really enjoyed. I made special note of the introduction about watching the Mets game with Rob and of the memories with your Dad. It is those moments that inspired the writing and art in my book. Thanks again for mentioning my book, and bringing a smile to my face during a lousy week! -Gary Cieradkowski

    1. I love your book. I especially promote diverse books on my blog and so your book was a natural. I'm glad finding the blog post was a cheer up to a rather dismal week. My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in Sept 2015 at the age of 69. We were so shocked as he had a pain in his side and was not a smoker. He died in March of 2016. One of the sweetest memories I have of that awful time was watching the Mets with Rob.

    2. Baseball, for some reason, seems to fill voids, provide happy memories or otherwise evoke strong emotions in people. It was the loss of my father back in 2009 that started me on the blog that my book came out of. I was living in Hollywood and none of my friends liked baseball or its history, the things I always shared with my Dad. Because I missed him, I began drawing ballplayers and writing their stories on a little blog. Now, because of that loss and missing my Dad, I have a new career as a baseball historian/writer/artist, and every story I write, presentation I give and ballplayer I draw, I think of my Dad. Next week I am coming out with a magazine/journal called "21" which will be a quarterly (I hope!) publication that is an extension of my big book. If you email me your address I would like to send you a copy as a thank you for brightening my week.


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