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Jim “Catfish” Hunter

Jim Catfish Hunter - cover
Jim “Catfish” Hunter

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a very clear answer to the difficult question many libraries with tight budgets struggle with: Is it better to have an outdated item on a topic, rather than no items on a topic?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.


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The Baseball Book
Complete A-to-Z encyclopedia of baseball
Hollander, ed.

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.

Batter up!


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