Submitter: I weeded this book from an urban [elementary] school library. In the introduction it compares professional baseball to slavery, because the players are traded from team to team. I guess that’s the kind of racist comment that was considered acceptable to print in a children’s book in 1976. It gives a very clear answer to the difficult question many libraries with tight budgets struggle with: Is it better to have an outdated item on a topic, rather than no items on a topic? NO. This library now has no baseball biographies, and that’s okay.
Holly: Kids today are not interested in every single sports star from their parents’ generation. There are some, for sure, who will never be bad subjects for a school library collection (Babe Ruth, for example), but keep the books themselves up to date! If Jim “Catfish” Hunter is worthy of the collection, there will be a newer book available. (Never heard of him…but admittedly I’m not a baseball fan.) I’m with submitter: NO books on a topic is better than only awful ones.
This caught my eye on the floor between stacks on a busy summer day in my library. There were kids all over the place, since a summer reading program event had just finished. A boy, probably about 10 years old, asked me for books about baseball. I found all kinds of current, fun-looking books with color pictures, but this one had been cast aside. It was sitting on the floor a few feet from the rest of the baseball books.
It’s boring. It’s old. The cover has a black-and-white photograph, but there are no other photos throughout the book. There are cartoon drawings, which would be just fine in a kids’ book if there were more of them, but they’re scattered here and there inconsistently.
The language is complicated, too. I get that there is lingo in baseball, and that’s fine. It just seems like a book written for coaches or high school players, not Little League-aged kids.
It has a few rips and tears here and there, yellowed pages, and a little bit of a musty smell, but boy did they make good bindings back then. The binding is nearly perfect.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH! This needs to be weeded.
The Baseball Book
Complete A-to-Z encyclopedia of baseball
Every library in Michigan should have weeded this title on principle when the Tigers won the World Series in 1984. (I was there!) So that is a strike 1. My husband, the ultimate Cubs fan, rejects this book,regardless of publication date, as Ernie Banks does not get his own entry. In the book’s defense, the book does give him props in the entry for Chicago Cubs. (I will spare you the non stop diatribe at my house of the Cubs’ performance. Poor guy still holds out hope though. ) Note the comment about lights at Wrigley Field! Strike 2. What no entry for steroids? Strike 3. You are out!
Baseball fans would enjoy the pictures and the entries, but this book devotes a lot of time and energy to stats making this book a poor choice in 2010.
Need more sports ideas? Here you go!