While the moment when Jackie Robinson and Hank Greenberg met (crashing together at first base in a 1947 game) isn’t among the lauded moments in baseball history, Fishman makes a case that there’s more to the encounter than meets the eye. This dual biography parallels the racism the two athletes encountered on their paths to greatness, and is reinforced by Elliott’s somewhat static paintings that show mirroring scenes from the two men’s lives on facing pages. While Robinson had to break the color barrier, that doesn’t mean the vitriol Greenberg faced as one of the few Jewish ballplayers was any less daunting. Fishman structures the narrative around swelling and shrinking distances, with the two being born 1,000 miles apart, growing up 2,000 miles apart, and finally squaring off 90 feet apart on the field before their collision closed the gap and “nothing separated Jackie and Hank.” This emphasis neatly reinforces the men’s similarities in both character and life experience. An unusual and welcome new slant on a well-covered era in American sports history. — Ian Chipman, Booklist March 2012
About the Author
Author Cathy Goldberg Fishman lives in Augusta, Georgia. She has taught elementary school, sold encyclopedias from door-to-door, run a daycare center, and owned a children’s bookstore. Currently she splits her time between writing, teaching at a community college, and teaching at her synagogue. She is the author of a number of books for children, including the Sydney Taylor Award Honor Book, On Sukkot and Simchat Torah
, illustrated by Melanie Hall. Cathy and her husband, Steven, have two children. Although Cathy does not play baseball, she remembers going with her grandfather to watch the Atlanta Crackers play at Ponce de Leon Park. She now roots for the Atlanta Braves.
Illustrator Mark Elliott holds a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts. He has illustrated a number of picture books as well as middle grade and young adult book covers. He is currently working on the artwork for Yukon: Sled Dog
by Judith Janda Presnall. His work has been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators and the Art Directors Guild and has appeared in numerous Spectrum Annuals.