First Pitch: How Baseball Began

John Thorn, Author
John Thorn. Beach Ball Books (BookMasters, dist.), $14.99 paper (40p) ISBN 978-1-936310-04-3
Reviewed on: 06/06/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-1-936310-05-0
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Packed with vintage images and photographs, this history of baseball takes readers from the origins of the sport to the present day. Thorn, the official historian for Major League Baseball, describes how, although many individuals erroneously received credit for inventing baseball, it actually originated with children; the first games can be traced by the laws that banned them (for instance, "laws that said it was illegal to play ball on the Sabbath"). Thorn, who writes clearly and eloquently, credits members of New York's Knickerbocker club for recording baseball's rules; a charming photograph depicts the 1845 "Knicks," whose waistcoats, broad-brimmed hats, and cravats are a far cry from contemporary uniforms. Fans who think they know baseball may discover they have much to learn. Ages 8–14. (June)
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