Tag archives for Baseball
BOOK NAME: Hothead
AUTHOR: Cal Ripken, Jr.
Do you play baseball? If you do, you probably know how important sportsmanship is during any athletic competition. Even so, sometimes it’s hard to be a good sport. Have you or anyone you know ever thrown a tantrum about missing a catch, striking out, or making a bad throw?
12-year-old Connor Sullivan is the last person anyone expects to lose his cool during a game. He is usually a very humble but extremely talented shortstop for the Babe Ruth League Orioles. In fact, he is the star player on the team. He has helped the Orioles achieve a perfect season so far, and now he has his sights set on the league pennant. Connor is also normally a good-natured guy who is good friends with everyone on the team.
Lately, however, Connor has been acting very strange. A recent event has greatly affected his family, and Connor’s attitude is taking a turn for the worst. Whenever he misses a catch or strikes out on an important play, he freaks out. His temper tantrums usually involve nasty, condescending remarks to his teammates and kicking and throwing his glove and other baseball equipment. Other players in the league nickname him “Psycho Sully” because of his wild fits of rage. No one else knows why Connor has suddenly started letting his temper get the best of him, but Connor’s coach wants it to stop, immediately! He just might end up forcing Connor off the team, even though he is their best player. A fellow classmate and reporter for Connor’s school’s newspaper plans to do a headline story on Connor’s sudden outbursts. Connor better shape up and get his act together, or his future as a baseball player could be in jeopardy!
I’ve played baseball before, so I can relate to the events that take place in this book. Even though I was a good sport, one of my teammates often went on a ranting rampage whenever he struck out or missed a catch. He yelled at me and the other members of the team whenever we made an error. No one wanted to be his friend because of his foul temper and the way he made us feel about being member of the team. The author of the book, Cal Ripken Jr., also had many of the same experiences as his fictional character. That was the most interesting aspect of the book, both the author and myself could relate to some of the events that occurred in the story. Maybe you will have a similar connection. I could empathize with Connor because of my own personal experiences. Definitely read this “grand slam” of a baseball book!
BOOK NAME: One-Handed Catch
AUTHOR: Jane Auch
Some of the best stories are the inspirational ones, and this book sure is one of them. One-Handed Catch is based on the true story of the author’s husband who learns to play baseball one-handed and learns to excel at not just baseball, but in life too. Norm is a 6th grader who has great struggles after he loses his hand in an accident. I can’t even imagine having that happen to me, but Norm thinks that it was really a blessing because it made him work hard to overcome new challenges that most people don’t have to deal with. And these challenges are even small things like learning to tie your shoes with just one hand. Norm thinks that he probably wouldn’t have made the baseball team if he hadn’t lost his hand because it actually forced him to practice harder and improve. Norm’s mom is the “tough love” type mother and tells all of his teachers that they shouldn’t go easy on him or else he would never be able to handle new problems. Fortunately, his friend Leon doesn’t treat him differently either, which I think helps Norm a lot.
This book reminds me of Shark Girl because they both lose part of their arm and must overcome adversity and adapt to their new reality. They are both unsure of themselves, but in the end they accomplish goals beyond their dreams and set a new standard of what it means to be normal. Boys, this one’s for you, but I think girls will enjoy it too!
BOOK NAME: Schoolboy Johnson
AUTHOR: John R. Tunis
“Strike three, batter out!” The Dodgers are second in their league and striving for the pennant. They have many wise veteran players. In the middle of the season, a new rookie nicknamed Schoolboy Johnson joins the team. He has a sizzling fast ball and, unlike most pitchers, loves to bat. This new rookie has a terrible temper. Veteran players such as Speedy Mason and Roy Tucker know that the Schoolboy will never reach his true pitching potential unless he controls his temper, and they try their best to help him control his anger. It seems like a hopeless cause. Schoolboy Johnson throws fits over a missed catch or a tough batter. He is also undisciplined and demonstrates a lack of focus in pitching. Can Schoolboy Johnson ever control his temper, win the pennant, and a girl’s heart?
This book was very interesting, even though I’m not a big baseball fan. I still thoroughly enjoyed it, and there were many valuable life lessons in this book. Managing your emotions, respecting your elders, and being a team player were all lessons that Schoolboy Johnson had to learn. I liked how this book told the story from several characters’ points of view. It really gave me insight into what each person was thinking. For example, Schoolboy Johnson talks about the veteran players and that he thinks they are “too old for their own good”. Roy Tucker, a veteran player, states that he thinks Schoolboy Johnson is too hot headed. The descriptions of the baseball games were so detailed that I felt I was actually on the field with the players. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a sports novel with a good moral lesson.
BOOK NAME: Roy Morelli Steps Up to the Plate
AUTHOR: Thatcher Heldring
Roy Morelli is a youth baseball All-Star. He’s good at baseball, but not so good at history. Since he got a bad grade on a history test, he had to move from the All-Star baseball league to the Rec League so he could focus more on school. The team he joins is the worst ever, but his two best friends, Fish and Kenny, play on it. They’ve never beaten a team before-any team. The only “win” they’ve ever had was when a team didn’t show up for a game and had to forfeit.
This book is about the crazy happenings for Roy, an eighth-grader, in both baseball and school. I like how much Roy helps his team get better and, midway through the season, the team comes up with the motto: “Let’s Win One.” And that’s what happens. They win their last game of the season on a bunt that ends up being an inside-the-park home run.
I liked the book, but I also like baseball. I’m not sure someone who doesn’t like baseball would like it that much since the book is mostly about that sport.
BOOK NAME: Tortilla Sun
AUTHOR: Jennifer Cervantes
Tortured by the mystery of her father’s death, Izzy struggles to live without understanding how her father died. When looking through some boxes she found a baseball with the words, “because…magic” written on it. Determined to find out what the missing words are, she asks her mother who offers no information. All her thoughts simmer in her head until she goes to spend the summer with her grandmother. Slowly, her grandmother opens up, sharing information about her father Izzy never knew. After a few days, she feels she is getting to know her father better than she might have if he was still alive. Izzy continues to look for answers and slowly unravels the mysteries.
Almost all the characters in the book had Spanish names so it took a while to catch on to who was who in the storyline. The characters were fairly predictable–each one had a different background story, but the author wove all the stories together so they all related somehow throughout the book.
Honestly, even though the author obviously put time into sharing details of how each of the characters felt, the overall story line was somewhat dull for me. I didn’t really enjoy this book at all, but I think it may have been written for a younger crowd.
Stefan Jenss, world traveler and former blogger for the Global Bros, was one of 250 kids, ages 10 and 11, selected to participate in the World Children’s Baseball Fair (WCBF) in Tokyo, Japan. The event celebrates its 20th anniversary.
At the World Children’s Baseball Fair in Tokyo, Japan (see my post), not only was I able to improve my skills and learn about other cultures, I had a chance to interview two of the greatest baseball players of all time, Lou Brock (pictured below) and Sadaharu Oh!
Stefan Jenss, world traveler and former blogger for the Global Bros, was one of 250 kids, ages 10 and 11, selected to participate in the World Children’s Baseball Fair (WCBF) in Tokyo, Japan. The event celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Stefan Jenss reports.
The World Children’s Baseball Fair was started in 1989 by the home-run kings Sadaharu Oh of Japan and Hank Aaron of the USA. Its goal is to bring kids from around the world together through their common love of baseball. Because the sport promotes teamwork, good health, discipline, and friendship, Mr. Oh and Mr. Aaron believed the event would create goodwill and global understanding and appreciation among the children of the world. Twenty-three countries were represented at the WCBF this year.
BOOK NAME: A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson
AUTHOR: Michelle Y. Green
This is a biography about an African-American girl who wants to play baseball. Her name was Mamie “Peanut” Johnson. Mamie loved baseball so much that people think that she was born with one in her hand! She wanted to play in the higher leagues but they wouldn’t let her because she was African-American. They would yell at her if she tried to go in any training facilities because they are for Whites only. So Mamie tried out for the Negro League and made the team. She played hard with a winning record of 33-8 and a batting average of .284. Mamie is still alive and lives in the Washington D.C. area.
I read this book for a biography book report. I chose her because I was a softball pitcher so I thought that I would like to read a book related to that. Mamie is an awesome baseball player I found out. She even struck Babe Ruth out! I don’t read biographies often so it was cool to learn about someone I hadn’t ever heard of.
If you were to write a biography about yourself than what would you title it? EXAMPLE: Jordan; the Blog-Writer. Leave a comment with your answer.
BOOK NAME: Honus & Me: A Baseball Card Adventure
AUTHOR: Dan Gutman
I don’t collect baseball cards, but I like baseball. This story is about a baseball card that’s worth much more than money. It can take you back in time.
It starts when 12-year-old baseball card collector Joe Stoshack helps his old neighbor clean out her attic. She tells him to throw everything in the garbage. While cleaning the attic, he finds an old baseball card for Honus Wagner, which is one of the rarest baseball cards in the world. Joe can’t figure out if he should tell his neighbor about it or not. He takes it home and it takes him back in time to when Honus played 100 years ago in the World Series. While back in time, Joe learns that his old neighbor was actually once a girlfriend of Honus Wagner.
The book tells what life and baseball was like a long time ago. I thought it was interesting how baseball players used to pay people to come to their games instead of the other way around. I didn’t know anything about Honus Wagner before reading this book, but now I know a lot more about him and the way baseball was played so long ago. If you like baseball, you’ll love this book.
Happy Opening Day! Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a
professional mascot? How about one of the running presidents for the
Stephanie Montgomery, a National Geographic employee, tried out to be a racing president in February. During tryouts, the four “presidents” (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt) had to run a race around the baseball diamond. in full costume while wearing a giant head! Montgomery says that the giant head “was not as heavy as I had feared, but it was very awkward. I had listened to some tips
from some of the other folks who had run already, and knew that you
should lean back for balance and comfort, but push your head forward
for vision. It also seemed that small choppy steps were the way to go.
Photograph courtesy Kate Baylor
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