Speaking Volumes: Take me out to the ballgame and more about America’s pastime

The Doubleday myth refers to the belief that baseball was invented in 1839 by future American Civil War general Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York. A claim that Doubleday invented baseball was presented to the Mills Commission and in 1908 it named Doubleday as the creator of baseball.

Most modern baseball historians consider the claim to be false. The myth nevertheless led to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s being located in Cooperstown.

“Bert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America’s Greatest Game” by award-winning sportswriter and television commentator Bert Sugar takes readers deep into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Since opening its doors in 1939, the museum has welcomed more than 14 million fans to experience the rich history of America’s pastime. Using more than 500 photographs and images of fascinating artifacts, the experience is captured in this commemorative work.

“Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota” by Richard Sinibaldi tells the remarkable story of McKechnie Field — now LECOM Park — in Bradenton.

It is the oldest active major-league spring training facility in the country, opening in 1923. It has hosted six different major-league teams with the Pittsburgh Pirates calling it home since 1969.

“As They See ‘Em” by Bruce Weber is an insider’s look at the largely unknown world of professional umpires, a small group of men (and occasional woman) who make sure America’s pastime is conducted in a manner that is clean, crisp and true.

This is an entertaining account of what amounts to a secret society, with its own customs, rituals and colorful vocabulary and reveals the game as never before.

“Women At Play: The Story of Women in Baseball” by Barbara Gregorich tells the fascinating story of women playing baseball.

In 1943, the first women’s professional baseball league was born, the one featured in the hit movie “A League of Their Own.” Nearly 600 women earned a living by playing on all-female baseball teams in the All-American Girls Baseball League.

Using original research and interviews with many of the women who made baseball history and 70 photographs and illustrations, this is a thoroughly entertaining book.

“Calico Joe” by John Grisham mixes fact and fiction — introducing fictional players into well-known teams such as the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs — and lets them interact with actual players, including Yogi Berra.

Call your local branch for more information on available titles.

Central Library — 941-748-5555;

Braden River — 941-727-6079;

Island — 941-778-6341;

Palmetto — 941-722-3333;

Rocky Bluff — 941-723-4821;

South Manatee — 941-755-3892.

You also can access the library via the internet at

Cathy Habora is a staff member at the Braden River Branch Library. Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday in the Bradenton Herald.

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