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First Pitch Paperback – May 15, 2011

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First Pitch: How Baseball Began John Thorn. Beach Ball Books Packed with vintage images and photographs, this history of baseball takes readers from the origins of the sport to the present day. Thorn, the official historian for Major League Baseball, describes how, although many individuals erroneously received credit for inventing baseball, it actually originated with children; the first games can be traced by the laws that banned them (for instance, laws that said it was illegal to play ball on the Sabbath). Thorn, who writes clearly and eloquently, credits members of New York's Knickerbocker club for recording baseball's rules; a charming photograph depicts the 1845 Knicks, whose waistcoats, broad-brimmed hats, and cravats are a far cry from contemporary uniforms. Fans who think they know baseball may discover they have much to learn. Ages 8 14. (June)

About the Author

John Thorn is America s most important baseball historian. The author of numerous books and the editor of a baseball history journal, in 2011, Thorn was named the Official Historian, Major League Baseball®. In that role, he ll expand on the league s education efforts about baseball history. He ll also run a special, star-studded committee that will explore baseball's roots even more deeply. Thorn was also a senior consultant on the Ken Burns documentary, Baseball. He is the author of The Hidden Game of Baseball, The Pitcher, Total Baseball (editor), and the current editor of Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game. The winner of the Society for American Baseball Research s Bob Davids Award for numerous contributions to the field, Thorn lives in upstate New York.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1070L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Beach Ball Books (May 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193631004X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936310043
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 10.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,825,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Ohioan on February 11, 2012
Verified Purchase
This is a picture book for older kids, ages 8 and up and, frankly, adults will enjoy the book, too. Coming in at under 48 pages, this full-color book is divided into five chapters and an epilogue, and in those five chapters and epilogue the reader is introduced to the origins of baseball, the supposed origins of baseball, and the growth and evolution of the game. The book is the work of the Official Historian of Major League Baseball, John Thorn. The illustrations, most of them old photographs, are magnificent: they bring the 19th century and baseball to life. The page design is particularly attractive, leading readers to either follow the main argument of each chapter, or to wander off into fascinating sidebars of facts. There, unlike a runner who wanders off the bag and gets tagged, they will always be safe. Very enjoyable.
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