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LM_NET  June 2018

LM_NET June 2018

Subject:

Richie’s Picks: OUT OF LEFT FIELD

From:

Richie Partington <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Richie Partington <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 9 Jun 2018 22:17:04 +0200

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text/plain

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*Richie’s Picks: OUT OF LEFT FIELD by Ellen Klages, Viking, May 2018,
320p., ISBN: 978-0-425-28859-7“Talkin' baseball!The Man and Bobby FellerThe
Scooter, the Barber, and the NewcThey knew 'em all from Boston to
DubuqueEspecially Willie, Mickey, and the Duke”-- Terry Cashman, “Talkin’
Baseball” (1981)“‘I’m Coach Martin,’ the man said. He had a strong voice
that carried. ‘For almost twenty years, Little League has been open to any
boy who wants to play baseball. Your race, your religion, your ethnic
heritage--none of that matters. Little League is a true democracy. It does
not discriminate in any way whatsoever. Each of you has an equal chance to
make one of the teams, based only on your skills with a ball and a bat. How
about that?Half the boys gave a ragged cheer.‘That’s the spirit.’ The man
smiled. ‘Today we’re going to see how you run, hit, throw, and catch. We’ll
also be watching for some things that are not so easily measured--healthy
competition that includes goods sportsmanship and fair play.’ The other men
nodded.‘Success on the field comes from dedication, discipline, and--of
course--practice, practice, practice!’ He pounded his fist into his hand.
‘Now who’s ready to play ball?’This time every kid cheered, me
included.‘That’s what I like to hear.’ He tapped his clipboard.”It’s the
fall of 1957, and ten year-old Katy Gordon has grown up playing baseball
with the neighborhood boys. She’s got exceptional talent as a pitcher and
those boys have long respected and embraced her for that practiced
skill.Using her initials instead of her name, keeping her hair tucked out
of sight, Katy easily makes her way through the Little League tryouts. But
her attempt to really democratize the organization quickly short circuits
when a boy from outside her neighborhood group rats her out. Katy is
unceremoniously shown the door as the local adults and the national Little
League organization make it clear that baseball is only for
boys.Fortunately for Katy, her mom has a bit of personal history that
causes her to be supportive of Katy’s cause. Katy chooses to research women
in baseball for a school term assignment, and uncovers a surprisingly long,
rich history of female involvement in the national pastime. In the process,
she also learns about Negro League baseball.I loved so much about OUT OF
LEFT FIELD. It’s a great American history story, and it’s filled with
camaraderie between Katy and the neighborhood boys. Katy’s quest to
document the involvement of women in baseball demonstrates to readers how
top notch research was undertaken back in the old pre-Internet days, when
one would employ the Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, snail mail
letter writing, and personal interviewing. And while Katy, despite her best
efforts, does not ultimately get to join the Little League, she does get
some pretty cool recognition for her hard work.OUT OF LEFT FIELD will
complement one of my all-time nonfiction favs, Karen Blumenthal’s 2005
award-winning LET ME PLAY: THE STORY OF TITLE IX: THE LAW THAT CHANGED THE
FUTURE OF GIRLS IN AMERICA. It will also fit in nicely with Kadir Nelson’s
Sibert Medal-winning WE ARE THE SHIP: THE STORY OF NEGRO LEAGUE
BASEBALL.Richie Partington, MLISRichie's Picks
<http://richiespicks.com/>http://richiespicks.pbworks.com
<http://richiespicks.pbworks.com>https://www.facebook.com/richiespicks/
<https://www.facebook.com/richiespicks/>[log in to unmask]
<[log in to unmask]> *

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