Children's Literature - Enid PortnoyThis sports biography describes an unusual pro football star as a “two-way player.” Ever hear that phrase? It refers to someone who can do more than one thing in more than one sport incredibly well. Sanders could reverse his game positions and then turn around and serve as a formidable weapon for an opposing team, while playing in another game or sport and still perform in astounding ways. He is the only athlete in sports history to star in both a World Series and a Super Bowl. In 1992, Sanders was the only player dressed in uniform and ready to play two different professional sports on the same day! Football and baseball made his career a colorful one, while his flashy style called attention to his energy, skills, and extraordinary performances. A young man raised in the housing projects of the American South, Sanders worked hard for every achievement he gained. He began playing baseball at age five, under his father’s guidance. At eight, he was playing in Pop Warner League football. His heroes were all black athletes. During his high school year, Sanders participated in baseball, basketball, and track, but he preferred basketball. He wound up playing football after he astounded some of the coaches and adults who watched him during his younger days. He played for Florida State in college and subbed in as needed for other teams. He was described as “A Man with Many Talents.” As a young, strong, multi-talented sports figure, Sanders moved easily between different sports and set new records. Color photos of Sanders throughout the years are included, and there are many action photos as well. We even see him as he retires, still pushing himself. Sanders continues to devote himself to many charitable organizations and events, although as a retiree, he claims that fishing is his main sport. Sanders has led an amazing life, doing the things he loved to do from the time of his childhood. Young readers will find inspiration and wonder in the remarkable achievements that mark Sanders’ life in sports. Other books in the “Hall of Fame Sports Greats” series feature Michael Jordan and Cal Ripken. Visit speedingstar.com for additional information about these good biographies for sports-minded young readers. Reviewer: Enid Portnoy; Ages 10 to 14.
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