Batter Up!

My brothers might think it strange that I would write a post about baseball. Even though I grew up with three baseball playing brothers and should be a diehard baseball fan, I’m the family member that hardly ever knows who is playing in the World Series, and I don’t keep up on the local team unless they’re having a really good season. Then I do tune in a bit more. I’m sort of a failure as a baseball fan, but even so, I’ve discovered that I’ve got baseball in my soul.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been listening to Michael Chabon narrating his audiobook version of Summerland, which is such a fun book, a fantasy that is a true devotion to growing up with baseball. It’s brought back so many memories, and I’m realizing what a big part baseball played in my childhood.

You have to love baseball when you grow up with 3 brothers and go to all their little league, and then pony league, games. Love of baseball also comes from those milkshakes the entire family would enjoy after one of the brothers made a homerun. It comes from spending hours watching brothers play games they invented with their baseball card collection (oh where, oh where did those baseball cards go?). It comes from living in a neighborhood full of kids that would organize baseball games in the empty lot down the street and play until it was too dark to see the ball. And it also comes from having a Dad that would toss pitches to me in the backyard, so I could practice my swing…and then praised my hit that broke the bedroom window (I did have to pay for it out of my allowance).

Michael Chabon and his book have brought all those memories and feelings back. So here I am…old lady school teacher…thinking of Spring and Baseball and feeling an overwhelming nostalgia for the game. If you loved baseball as a kid, or are a kid who loves baseball, read this book! Or better still, listen to Michael Chabon read it to you.

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10 thoughts on “Batter Up!

  1. Nymeth

    I’m glad you’ve been having so much fun with this one. As I was reading it I imagined that it would be even more enjoyable if baseball were a part of my life in some way.

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  2. Les

    One of my favorite baseball books is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Wait ‘Til Next Year. Have you read it? It’s nonfiction and truly wonderful!

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  3. Nan -

    Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote a wonderful baseball memoir called Wait Till Next Year, which is, like all baseball related books, about life and change as well. I think you would love it. I’ll look into Chabon book. )oops, just after I wrote this, I saw Les mentioned WTNY. Oh, well, now you have two recommendations.)

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  4. Robin

    Thanks, Nymeth. It was, once again, one of your wonderful reviews that made me realize I needed to read this book! And it certainly brought back lots of memories!

    Thanks for the recommendation, Les and Nan! I read DKG’s Wait ‘Til Next Year a few years ago and absolutely loved it. It was so beautifully written, as is everything she writes!

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  5. Bellezza

    I bought this for a read aloud, but I wonder if it’s too sophisticated for my kids. I really didn’t care much for his novel The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay at all even though it won a Pulitzer, and I read it twice (once alone, and once for my book club…sigh).

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  6. Robin

    Hi Bellezza. Yes, it might be a little bit sophiticated for 3rd graders, but it would have been perfect for my 6th graders! It’s a lot of fun!

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  7. raych

    I have such fond memories of this book, even though I didn’t actually like it all that much. I just read it on this really great vacation last fall, and when I think of the book now I think of our little suite with the hot tub on the deck and heated tiles in the bathrooms…It’s funny how books, like smells or music, can bring you back.

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