So, in case this is your first time visiting Just Precious, I’ll need to fill you in: we’re baseball fans. Big big baseball fans. We’re extremely loyal to our hometown team, the Phillies… we would be even if they weren’t winning up a storm. But. Then. They are. So we’re constantly celebrating. A few years ago I turned my blog P. Never know. It may happen again.
We’re also big on t-ball and little league. Years ago, when I was a kid, little league meant township t-ball and softball. I never knew about this huge international Little League association. Or foundation. Or… whatever. But with boys? We have fundraisers and practices and games several times a week. I’m pretty sure that softball around here will be the same. I’ll let you know when Little is five.
This year, Big will play in the Coach Pitch League and Middle in t-ball. (Pictures to come… don’t worry.) They’ve been practicing and this week is opening week for games. Yes. This week. So, please. Do a little warm sun in dance for me because both our games this week are at night. (And, really? 6-8 pm on a Friday for a t-ball game is not making this Jew so happy.)
Back to Little League. I was warned by a few friends that the games would be looonnnnggg. That I’d sit back in my chair and get lots of reading done. Well, three years in and I’ve yet to bring a book to a game or practice. That could be because I was am often chasing little ones around, but, whatever the reason, I love Little League. Like I never knew I would. Forget soccer mom, I’m a Little League Mom, for sure. From the swings to the catches and the misses, I just thoroughly enjoy cheering on my kids and their friends and teammates.
This year, the Huz is assistant coaching both teams. He (yes, totally biased) is a great coach. He’s really in it for the kids. He wants the kids to learn, to behave and to have fun. He realizes that at this age, if baseball becomes a job and a hardship the kids won’t want to play in the future. I love him.
To celebrate baseball, here are a few of our favorite baseball books:
H is for Home Run: A Baseball Alphabet (Alphabet Books) This is one of Brad Herzog’s series of Alphabet sports books, so don’t expect just a simple word for each letter here. Expect to find powerful pictures illustrating the pages, putting the readers directly into the place and the game. And the descriptions of each element of baseball are energizing and informative. A great book for the 4-7 year old range.
Comeback of the Home Run Kid (Matt Christopher Sports Fiction) When I taught fourth grade, Matt Christopher books scattered my classroom library, when they weren’t hiding in the desks of my athletic boys. His books get right into the game and bring a relevant, emotional, inspiring themed story with action and drama to life. An athletic fiction writer for kids, Christopher has written a few baseball books. Suggested for children ages 9-12.
Babe Ruth Saves Baseball! (Step into Reading 3) This is one of my favorite 4-year-old boy gifts. I try attach to to gifts for all the boys who love baseball. Babe Ruth was such an inspiration, and this story is a great one to read to the kids before bed.
Mickey & Me: A Baseball Card Adventure (Baseball Card Adventures)Another favorite in my fourth grade classroom, local author Dan Gutman actually came to our school while I was teaching 4th grade, to talk about writing books. His Baseball Card series, where the child character travels through time to experience the life of famous players. I love historical fiction, and Gutman does a great job mixing heroes, adventure, and a genuine love of the game.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame (Aladdin Picture Books) A baseball fan’s house really isn’t complete without some ode to Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and I can’t count the number of times the song has been sung in my house. The Huz and the boys have spent hours sing-reading this book, turning the pages and experiencing this game again and again. The words we all know, but the images share the Brooklyn Dodgers in a 1947 World Series, when they played the Yankees. A lot has changed since then (the pictures of the fans are beautiful signs of the times) but the game remains the same.
Baseball: How To Play The Game: The Official Playing and Coaching Manual of Major League Baseball*We received this book as a sample and while I would like to share it with our coaches, our little phanatics can’t get enough of the pictures and captions of baseball greats. Together and separately they turn page after page, commenting on what they’re seeing. This book is said to be the best coaching book for Little League, with tips from the pros. And while our assistant coach is enjoying it, its hard for him to pry it away from our Little League dreamers.
© 2011, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.