Who Invented the Game?

Overview

One summer day in 1839, on a village green in upstate New York, Abner Doubleday was playing town ball with his schoolmates. The rules of town ball were loose - every hit was fair, and the players often ran into each other. So Doubleday created a new set of rules for a new game - a game he called baseball.

It's a nice story, and it's been told for generations - but it simply isn't true.

Then how did baseball begin? Who played the first real ...

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Overview

One summer day in 1839, on a village green in upstate New York, Abner Doubleday was playing town ball with his schoolmates. The rules of town ball were loose - every hit was fair, and the players often ran into each other. So Doubleday created a new set of rules for a new game - a game he called baseball.

It's a nice story, and it's been told for generations - but it simply isn't true.

Then how did baseball begin? Who played the first real game? The first night game? Who invented the curveball? Why were players once reluctant to use gloves and masks? Why is the pitcher's mound precisely 60 feet 6 inches from home plate? How did baseball evolve from a leisurely pastime into a billion-dollar industry?

You'll find the surprising answers to these and many other questions in this highly readable history as colorful and complicated as that of America itself.

Based on the PBS television documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns, and illustrated with more than seventy dramatic photographs, here is an entertaining and informative homage to our "National heirloom." It's a book that belongs in every baseball fan's library!

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-6A series of books arising from the PBS documentary ``Baseball.'' Although not as comprehensive as Patricia and Fredrick McKissack's The Black Diamond (Scholastic, 1994), Shadow Ball chronicles the history of the Negro Leagues and gives a good overview of this important and sad part of baseball's story. 25 Great Moments provides one or two page synopses of some of the most legendary events and moments from baseball's past, ranging from the first game in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1846 to Joe Carter's Series-winning home run in 1993. Who Invented the Game? has a misleading title since it deals with far more than merely the origins of baseball. In fact, each chapter of this book is a summary of an episode of the television series. Thus, it provides a condensed history of the game. In each of the books, the layout and photographs are excellent and the index is comprehensive. They all have some worthwhile elements, but they seem to have been produced simply as spin-offs of the documentary. With better and more substanial books in most collections, these titles are serviceable additions.Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
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