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Swing for the Fences

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It's baseball season! For student athletes and sports fans, schedules are starting to fill up. There are practices to work through, games to play, games to watch, stats to analyze, and snacks to consume. For many, this is the best time of year - so many opportunities to enjoy warm, sunny weather with friends and family. We couldn't agree more, and because we know you've already got the activities down, this post shares some great stories that will help you keep that excitement going even when you're off the field.

Break out the peanuts, popcorn, and Cracker Jacks; these stories are perfect for baseball season. Listen on the way to a game, while you wait to get into (or out of) the parking lot at the stadium, or just to wind down after a long practice. Students will be rewarded with inspiring stories, motivation after a loss, and all while working their literacy muscles to support their academic pursuits and help them stay well-rounded athletes.
 

Baseball Stories

Infinite Baseball by Alva Noe

In this deeply entertaining book, philosopher and baseball fan Alva Noe explores the many unexpected ways in which baseball is truly a philosophical kind of game. For example, he ponders how observers of baseball are less interested in what happens, than in who is responsible for what happens; every action receives praise or blame. To put it another way, in baseball-as in the law-we decide what happened based on who is responsible for what happened. Noe also explains the curious activity of keeping score: a score card is not merely a record of the game, like a video recording; it is an account of the game. Baseball requires that true fans try to tell the story of the game, in real time, as it unfolds, and thus actively participate in its creation. Some argue that baseball is fundamentally a game about numbers. Noe's wide-ranging, thoughtful observations show that, to the contrary, baseball is not only a window on language, culture, and the nature of human action, but is intertwined with deep and fundamental human truths.

Preparing for Spring Break? Check out our suggestions for your reading lists  here.

Team Stories

Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic by Jason Turbow

The Oakland A's of the early 1970s were the most transformative team in baseball history. Never before had an entire organization so collectively traumatized baseball's establishment with its outlandish behavior and business decisions - or with its indisputable winning record: five straight division titles and three straight championships. The high drama that played out on the field was exceeded only by the drama in the clubhouse and front office. Under the visionary leadership of Charles O. Finley, the team assembled such luminary figures as Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, and Vida Blue. Finley acted as his own general manager, and, with an insatiable need for control, dictated everything from the playlist of the ballpark organist to the menu for the media lounge. The advent of free agency spelled the end of Finley's reign; within two years, his dynasty was lost.

Player Stories

Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey

Katie Casey was baseball mad. Had the fever and had it bad. A story that celebrates a brave girl's love of the game as she works to become a player in the first-ever All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

WANT MORE? Get more spring title and activities ideas here!

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