Mrs. Morhard and the Boys: One mother's vision. The first boys' baseball league. A nation inspired.

Mrs. Morhard and the Boys: One mother's vision. The first boys' baseball league. A nation inspired.

by Ruth Hanford Morhard


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With the nation in the grip of the Great Depression, a single mother in Cleveland, Ohio, creates a lasting monument to youth and community as American as apple pie.
At twelve years old, fiercely independent Josephine Morhard left her family’s Pennsylvania farm to start a new life. After surviving two bad marriages, Josephine decides to focus on a better future for her daughter and son. But Junior is a volatile boy of eight—until his mother comes up with a novel plan to build discipline and self-worth in her son. Out of a dream, an empty lot, and the enthusiasm of other neighborhood kids, Josephine establishes the first boys’ baseball league in America.
Beyond all expectations, the Cleveland Indians rally behind her project. Future baseball legends Bob Feller, Jeff Heath, and Roy Weatherly help hone the boys’ skills; renowned sports reporter Hal Lebovitz pitches in as an umpire; and they’re given free pass to play in historic League Park. As Josephine’s Little Indians graduate into the Junior American and Junior National Leagues, and finally a Little World Series, she instills in her boys strong values, good sportsmanship, and an unprecedented sense of accomplishment. Some of them, like Ray Lindquist and Jack Heinen, will even make it to the Minor Leagues. Not one of Mrs. Morhard’s boys would ever forget her.
“A treat to read.”
Akron Beacon Journal

“Beautifully tells the true story of how one mother kept her son out of trouble . . . and started the first boy’s baseball league.”
—Delilah, Syndicated Radio Host

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806538884
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 05/26/2020
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 284,265
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ruth Hanford Morhard holds a Certificate in Creative Nonfiction from Stanford University. As head of Ruth Reid & Company, her day job is marketing and communications consultant to national and regional institutions. She has been a senior executive with major philanthropic and arts institutions and has taught public relations writing. Morhard lives in Chardon, Ohio, with her husband Al, son of Josephine Morhard.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Big Day 1

I Early Life 7

1 A Cruel Winter 9

2 The Early Years 18

3 Making a Decision 34

II Struggles 43

4 On Her Own 45

5 Bright Lights 59

6 The Promoter 73

7 The Butcher 89

8 Another Try, And Another 96

9 Hard Times 109

10 The Game 115

III Baseball 129

11 Idea 131

12 Fourteen Little Indians 147

13 Growing Pains 159

14 Baseball Idols 164

15 They Will Come 173

16 The Junior American League 180

17 The Junior National League 190

18 Conflicts Abroad 198

19 The Little World Series 206

IV The Final Inning 217

20 Wartime Brings the End 219

21 The Reunion 233

Epilogue: The Old Ball Fields 234

About this Book 249

Acknowledgments 251

Notes 253

About the Author 278

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