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Play Ball: Books on Baseball

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Play ball

Bellaire librarian Mary Cohrs recommends books about baseball for baseball season. 

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

“Play Ball” - two of the sweetest words for baseball fans each spring. Houston may be a football town to some, but the boys of summer have been my favorites since childhood. Attending Colt .45 games next to the construction of the Astrodome is a fond memory, but attending the inaugural game in the Astrodome is an all-time favorite. There are those who think baseball is too slow, but I find the pace of the dance just right and a lot of fun.

Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron are names that frequent baseball books and, today, the names Nolan Ryan, Jose Altuve, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Dallas Keuchel are familiar to proud Houstonians. The sport of baseball has many legends and Little League heroes.

Our national pastime has inspired poems (who can recite Casey at the Bat or at least the last line), films, novels and hundreds of biographies, autobiographies and other titles on the history or instruction of baseball have been published. If you are not already a baseball fan, then take a break from football and read about baseball with these titles:

Our Game: An American Baseball History by Charles Alexander. This is the best of many one-volume histories of baseball.

The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn. Many baseball aficionados consider this the best book ever written about the game. It tells the story of the men who played on the great Brooklyn Dodger teams of the 1950s - not only during those great seasons but also what happened to them when their glory days were behind them.

Baseball by Geoffrey C. Ward. A wonderful book to introduce you to the game of baseball. This is the accompanying book for Ken Burns’ miniseries that aired on PBS in September 1994.

Take me out to the ballgame is not just a song, but a goal through October (I am a post-season optimist!).

Read about Buzz families who love baseball and who have gone the distance for the game in Jennifer Oakley's For the Love of Baseball: Hitting the road for America’s pastime and Dreaming of Fields: Families hit the road for baseball

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