Odd Ball: Hilarious, Unusual, & Bizarre Baseball Moments Hardcover – February 1, 2011
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From Kirkus Reviews
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>Colorful cover graphics directly printed on the hardcover/library type binding. No dustjacket to lose or get torn up by younger readers.
>Geared towards grades 3-6 and may be read along with younger children.
>Author, Timothy Tocher has done a good job of presenting many fascinating baseball facts and trivia from the 1800's to modern days; including origin of umpires' hand signals, the famous "Sausage Race", and a special farm-teams night game to honor President Obama, etc.
>Illustrator, Stacy Curtis, captured the attention of our young readers and enlivened the many interesting baseball tidbits with his kids-oriented b/w comics.
>There's even an appendix of "Odd Facts about the Players" in the back of the book for readers to browse through.
>Kids nowadays are more into watching videos of odd or strange sports moments on their tablets so it may take some coercion to get them to flip open a book.
>The b/w comics are fun to read but younger readers would enjoy colorful illustrations even more.
An entertaining, fun book filled with many strange yet interesting baseball moments that most baseball/sports fans of all ages will enjoy!
I myself am not particularly interested in baseball. Growing up it was hard to care about the Baltimore Orioles all the way down in Arlington VA; my boys, on the other hand, became Red Socks fans as simple fact of life in these parts up north. So they were more interested than I was in this particular book, when it arrived from the publishers. And indeed, my oldest had read it thrice, and my youngest once, before I looked at it myself.
By that point, I had been told many of the anecdotes already (it's the kind of book that makes you want to say to any loved one who happens to be around--"Did you know that....." ) I found it really interesting, in a fascinating factoid way, myself. Did you know that a baseball once landed in a match vendors tray and started a fire? Did you ever hear about Wilbert Robinson, who boasted he could catch a ball dropped from an airplane, and how, when his manger hired a stunt pilot to put him to the test, it turned strangely sour? I could go on...
And so, although I do recommend this one to its intended audience, you could also do far worse than to get this for a difficult to shop for grown-up loved one who loves baseball!
The slim 58 page book was actually published in 2011, so I'm not sure why Amazon was just offering to Vine reviewers in mid-2013. But it was an easy read - less than 20 minutes. It's aimed at young readers and - based on some other reviewers' comments it is probably best for a 9-11 year old baseball fan. That's not to say that adults wouldn't enjoy it too. The word "Hilarious" in the title is a bit optimistic. I think "funny" would have been a better (and more honest) word. The 35 or so "stories" told in a sentence or two and then expanded in a "comic strip" format are often funny and a few put a smile on my face. The book is divided into 9 chapters (called "innings") on subjects ranging from "fowl" on the field to players with physical deformaties (one less arm or too many fingers) who still succeed. Most of the players mentioned are from the "early days" of the sport and Have passed on.
As I said, young baseball fans will enjoy this and have new stories to tell to their friends.
While the book has a color cover, the illustrations inside are all in black and white.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.
"Odd Ball: Hilarious, Unusual, & Bizarre Baseball Moments" contains expressive cartoons (some of which reminded me of Bill Gallo's great "Heroes and Goats" World Series cartoons), and drawings to illustrate these oddball moments.
Who'd-a thunk that someone's pocket would catch on fire after getting thunked by a foul ball? Or what about that POOOR lady who got hit not once but twice with errant foul balls in the same game!! Or WHY we are allowed to keep home run balls now? (It hurts just to think about it!!!) How's about catching a grapefruit?! And running a GOAT around the bases - wonder why THAT was done??? And you have THREE ears? All I see are TWO!!
Our beloved pastime of Baseball gets even more endearing and memorable because of the contents of this book!!!
WELL DONE Timothy Tocher (Author), and Stacy Curtis (Illustrator) !!!