Oh, so you know everything there is to know about baseball? Try these two questions!
1. What is the name of the person who found the secret mud that changed baseball?
2. Who ranks in the top 25 in the following all-time baseball career statistics of stolen bases, assists by an outfielder, and double plays by an outfielder and was also deaf?
There was a time when new baseballs were broken in by spitting on them with tobacco juice (too stinky), rubbing them with shoe polish (took black) or soaking them in water (too soggy). The balls were a mess; hard for batters to see and too soft to hit far. Lena Blackburne, an unsuccessful baseball player, accidentally solves the answer to this ball problem. While fishing in a river in New Jersey Lena scoops up some dark brown mud that looks smooth but is gritty. When he rubs it into his baseballs and then wipes its off the balls don't smell, aren't shiny or soft. The players loved Lena's magic mud! Lena never made it into the hall of fame for his baseball skills but a tub of his magic mud was put on display in 1969!
Third graders sat spell bound as they followed the story of a deaf boy growing up in the 1860s whose fantasy was a long shot: to be a major league baseball player. Striving to find his place in the hearing world, Hoy became a shoemaker. He took pride in his work but his love was baseball. When an amateur team coach saw him playing behind his shoe shop Hoy was signed on to the team. From there he went to the minor leagues and then to the majors, playing for the Washington Nationals and then the Cincinnati Reds. In a very touching scene Hoy bats against Luther Taylor, a deaf pitcher. Thousands of fans crammed into the park during this historic day and watched as the two players spoke to each other in sign language during the game. William Hoy was an inspirational, courageous and determined hero.
Who among us doesn't love the hilariously funny baseball sketch by Abbott & Costello? Now we can share it in this delightful picture book with whimsical illustrations of a bunny and a bear going through the routine.
If you would like to share the televised routine with your family check it out in the youtube link below.