I think it's safe to say that every player on every MLB field today had his start in Little League, or his nation's version of such a program. It's also safe to say that every player on the field (and in the dugouts) today will be male. Which calls to mind several picture books I've reviewed in the past about the role of girls and women in baseball, on the field and in the management offices. It also makes me want to share a new release from prolific profiling picture book author, Heather Lang, work has been featured here in the past.
ANYBODY'S GAME: Kathryn Johnston, the First Girl to Play Little League Baseball is as lively and appealing as the cover art and character. You can learn about spunky and sporty Kathryn and her clever decision to PROVE that girls can play baseball as well as boys in the book trailer linked HERE.
Backmatter includes an author's note, timeline, and acknowledgements. At a time when girls were expected to be playing hopscotch and jumping rope, in a an all-white setting that was typical of mid-century America, Kathryn's slightly-fictionalized persistence still inspires and parallels some of the race-struggles for equal treatment that were happening in the same era. In her case, she could cut her hair and disguise her gender to prove herself while skin color did not offer the same options. Illustrator Cecilia Puglesi creates slightly cartoonish but lively and expressive characters.
|Albert Whitman Company, March, 2018|
April 6, 2012: BATTER UP! Biographies and profiles.
May 12, 2012: BASEBALL STRIKES AGAIN Two biographies, a nonfiction history of the role of women in baseball, and a novel in verse framed on a baseball-loving narrator.
June 16, 2012: Here's to the Boys, Young and Old: An all-time favorite picture book story, with an unforgettable message.
January 13, 2013: Never Too Soon for Baseball... or Too Late! Biography
April 14, 2013: An"Anti-Theme Month Post Women with untold stories, including baseball.
July 13, 2013: Finding Inspiration in Biographies, AGAIN!: Biography, of course.
July 28, 2013: Who Do You Trust: Sports Heroes? Biographies and profiles.
April 3, 2016: Baseball Biographies: Who Makes the Line-Up in Literature? Picture book biography of a woman in baseball management, and link to a middle grade historical novel with roots in Milwaukee and the earliest days of baseball, the Civil War era HATTIE'S WAR. (Note: offer for free download of ebook has expired)
July 11, 2016: Trauma and Racism: Picture Books Open Hard Conversations Baseball (and other) picture books about diversity and courage (fiction and nonfiction titles)
So you're officially invited to explore some of these baseball-based posts, now or after the game ends. And whoever your team allegiance supports, good luck on this opening day and throughout the season ahead.