How Baseball Works

How Baseball Works

5.0 1
by Keltie Thomas, Greg Hall
     
 

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From grand slams to sacrifice bunts, from the legends of the game to its hottest young stars, from the composition of the infield dirt to what puts the curve in a curveball, How Baseball Works delves into all aspects of America's favorite game. Its engaging, science-based approach gives fans young and old the inside skinny on how to throw a strike, find the

Overview

From grand slams to sacrifice bunts, from the legends of the game to its hottest young stars, from the composition of the infield dirt to what puts the curve in a curveball, How Baseball Works delves into all aspects of America's favorite game. Its engaging, science-based approach gives fans young and old the inside skinny on how to throw a strike, find the sweet spot on a bat, read a home run pitch, decode stats, run the bases and chase down flies, choose the best bat, ball, and glove, and much more. The fun-filled, fast-paced text is enhanced by features such as “Quick Hit” factoids, “Star” baseball cards with stories of the game’s great players, "Try This!" tips and activities that help youngsters improve their game, and exciting photos of players past and present. “Rules and Regs” and “Baseball Talk” sections introduce the game’s sometimes arcane rules and always colorful lingo.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
New titles offer tips and information for budding athletes. How Baseball Works by Keltie Thomas, illus. by Greg Hall, details some of the history and how-to regarding America's favorite pastime. Chapters explain baseball gear and the ways the game has evolved over time, with hints and anecdotes related in sidebars such as "Legends of the Game," "Quick Hit" and "Try This." An explanation of basic rules and a glossary keep readers game-ready. Each spread is divided into small bites of information, and humorous cartoon illustrations (such as a caricatured Green Monster at Fenway Park) and photos add to the visual appeal. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
With a more active and busy format but quicker step-by-step direction than The Baseball Book (Firefly, 2003), this book tells readers plenty about how to improve their game, but concentrates more deeply on the history of baseball, the many "whys" and "hows" of the game (making of bats and gloves, the sweet spot on the bat, tricks in pitching), and some of the folks who make or made the game great. Double page spreads are information-packed with sections like "Tips," "Quick Hits," "Try This," and nifty "Legends of the Game," which profiles Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, "monkey business" that rallied the Anaheim Angels, Satchel Paige, the catcher's hocky mask pioneered by Toronto Blue Jay Charlie O' Brien, and the spitball pioneer Ed Walsh who's bad habit was foiled by manure. You can start anywhere in this book because there are fascinating facts everywhere, but the opening chapters lay out how baseball works and the making of baseballs and a history of their changes over the last 150 years, how freezing a ball deters homeruns (but not why), some secrets for gunking a ball, and the resulting rule that only new balls are used for big league games. This book will undoubtedly be quoted aloud to other interested baseball players, kid or adult alike: "Hey, did you know that in 1887, batters could just tell the umpire what kind of pitch they wanted, and the pitcher had to deliver it?" Photos, archival material, cartoon art, diagrams, stats and how to understand them, artificial turf versus grass—it's all here. This is a perfect book for coaches to quote from to give the game more heft for young players who think it is all about hitting the ball. Now, if you can just get those who are immuneto the charms of boys and girls of summer to read this, you might just create another lifelong fan of the game. 2004, Maple Tree Press, Ages 9 to 14.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-This attractive volume is filled with snippets of facts and trivia. Thomas starts with a description of the ball: what it's made of, how it's used in the major leagues, and how it has changed through the years. This is followed by a fascinating discussion of the "sneaky science of doctoring the ball," which includes recipes for "Gourmet Pitches," such as spitballs, scuffballs, and mud balls. Ensuing chapters serve up an introduction to various facets of the game: equipment, training, hitting, pitching, keeping statistics, and major-league ballparks. Four simple experiments are presented, and each section includes a brief anecdote about one of baseball's great players. One memorably gross yet hilarious example involves spitball pitcher "Big Ed" Walsh and legendary manager, Connie Mack. This book provides a fun overview of the game and the eye-catching graphics and color photographs add much to its appeal. Lawrence Ritter's The Story of Baseball (Morrow, 1999) and Dan Gutman's The Way Baseball Works (S & S, 1996) provide more comprehensive treatments of the topic for both hardcore fans and novices.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Biting off far more than she can chew, Thomas crams mini-disquisitions on baseball's history, gear, play, rules, strategies, physics, statistics, jargon, stars, stadiums, and more into arrays of variously sized and colored boxes, supported by a mix of unevenly informative photos and cartoons. Though language and visuals are carefully nonsexist, the resulting barrage of superficial information not only occasionally swerves into misinformation-fastballs do not "shoot toward home plate in a straight line"-but leaves a few bases uncovered too, such as the ins and outs of pinch-hitting, the screwball pitch, the Hall of Fame, and the role of the Closer. Thomas supplies no sources for further information, and doesn't carry her tale beyond the 2002 season. Young fans won't encounter much here that they don't already know; non-fans will simply be bewildered. (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781897349212
Publisher:
Owlkids Books
Publication date:
03/28/2008
Series:
How Sports Work Series
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
Lexile:
1060L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Keltie Thomas, a seasoned science writer and life-long sports fan is the former editor of OWL magazine and developer of the award-winning web site, Owlkids.com.

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How Baseball Works 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago