Fauquier County Public Library

Batter Up! It’s Baseball Time Again!

Posted by vicky on

Well, another baseball season is beginning. If, like me, you’ve been watching the preseason games on TV for the last few weeks, it’s already here! Whether you’re a lifelong fan of baseball, or a recent convert to the sport, there’s always something new to learn. Let these library materials help you.

The Basics

Most sports can seem confusing to the spectator, at first. So many rules to remember, so many times they seem to be broken. For the basics on how to play the game, start with Little League’s Official How-To-Play Baseball Book by Peter Kreutzer and Ted Kerley. This book demonstrates baseball basics, including how to throw, bat and play each position. Use Splitters, Squeezes, and Steals: The Inside Story of Baseball’s Greatest Techniques, Strategies, and Plays, by Derek Gentile, to gain a better understanding of baseball terms such as the knuckleball, hitting .400, the 6-4-3-double play and more. This book also discusses equipment, umpires and managers, and the standard ballpark refreshments. Who doesn’t have fond memories of eating hot dogs and popcorn at a game? Also, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary by Paul Dickson is useful for looking up specific baseball terms. For slightly lesser-known unofficial game rules and a fun read, check out The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime by Jason Turbow and Michael Duca.

History of the Game

Anyone interested in the history of the game should check these out:

Baseball (DVD) by Ken Burns: A documentary covering the history of baseball from the 1940s to the 1990s. I highly recommend watching all 10 DVDs.
Baseball: An Illustrated History, narrative by Geoffrey C. Ward: Companion volume to the Ken Burns DVD series.
The Team by Team Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball by Dennis Purdy: Narrates the history of every existing major league baseball team, including team statistics.
Baseball Chronicles: An Oral History of Baseball Through the Decades: September 17, 1911 to October 24, 1992 by Mike Blake: An interesting read of what people who actually played the game have to say.

Just for Fun

Just for fun, I recommend the book Baseball Archaeology: Artifacts from the Great American Pastime by Gwen Aldridge. Enjoy looking at iconic baseball memorabilia such as a 1915 Red Sox scorecard with Babe Ruth stats, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s shoes, trading cards, sheet music, bats, tickets, banners, jerseys and much more. And if you have been a baseball-obsessed fan since childhood, read Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic by lifelong Dodgers fan Alyssa Milano, and star of the TV shows Who’s the Boss? and Charmed.

Please join us at the Warrenton Library on Monday, April 3, and enjoy free popcorn from noon to 3 pm while perusing the baseball books we have on display. Hope to see you there!

∼ Vicky, Reference Librarian, Warrenton central library

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