Baseball Scrapbook

October 28, 2013

B is for Baseball: Running the Bases from A to Z by Chronicle Books  is filled with historical photos found in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Two or three words are featured and defined for each letter, teaching the reader the terms of baseball.  Some words are familiar like a position name yet other vocabulary is very unique. Even I hadn’t heard some of these terms.

The book layout reminds me of a scrapbook with its background colored paper, die-cut letters, and photo cut-outs. I love the historical pictures inlaid throughout the book. This feature could allow students to compare and contrast the game of baseball in the past versus the present. I think you could have fun creating a class book on a theme using the structure of the book. Students could create a summary of a topic using this format as well. Who wouldn’t have fun creating a scrapbook page?

The National Hall of Fame video tour:

Savorings for reading and in writing for B is for Baseball: Running the Bases from A to Z:

  • A to Z book – class book
  • summarizing – specific word choice
  • Picture Captions
  • Punctuation – variety used
  • Compare and Contrast

WCPL book

SOLC: Baseball from A to Z

March 26, 2012

Baseball season has officially begun for the Whitko Wildcats. With it being Wesley’s senior year, my calendar is filled with each game being a priority. Sitting in the stands, I hope, cheer, and have a twisted-tight stomach.When Wesley pitches, I’m on the edge of my seat, clutching my pitch-count notebook. I also scribble baseball lingo and try to craft it. Tonight, I am sharing some of my favorite words in baseball: atta-kid, burner, change-up, double-play, hop-up, pick-off, slider, two-seamer. Learn of others in the book Baseball from A to Z. Below is a quick taste of what I feature on Book Savors the other eleven months of the year. (Savorings is my word for lingering in a beautiful text to find the craft of writing.)

In Baseball from A to Z , each letter has one vocabulary word with a simple definition. Macky Pamintuan’s illustrations make you smile and feel a part of the game. He states on the book jacket that he loves baseball. The illustrations are action packed and introduces specific terms used in baseball. This book could be a mentor text for kindergartener students or first graders for an All About Unit of Study.

At the end, Michael Spradlin encourages the reader to find other baseball words at the ball park. Read an excerpt from his book on the website.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Baseball from A to Z:

  • Alphabet practice
  • All About Unit of Study
  • Baseball lingo
  • Word choice
  • Definitions

SOLSC: “Don’t You Think Someone Should Go?”

March 20, 2012

Our oldest is a senior with college fastly approaching. He is asked, I am asked, “What’s Wesley’s plans?” “Has he chosen a college yet?” “What does he want to major in?” Wes has the answers, well most of them, but honestly, the plans will not be finalized until May, toward the end of baseball season.

You see, Wes LOVES baseball. He has since he was young. To play in the major leagues, even for a brief time, is his dream. I know, I know, you say, “Ya, but how many baseball players actually make it?” I don’t know. What I do know is that Wes wants to play baseball in college and take it from there. I also know that I want to provide and support my son in his dreams. What college Wes goes to depends on playing for a baseball team.

A couple of weeks ago, a nearby college baseball coach called and asked Wes to tryout for their team. I really had not thought Wes would attend there. I guess I just envisioned him to be away. Tomorrow is the tryout. “Don’t you think someone should go with you?” I asked Wes that day. He shrugged. “I’m just going to pitch.”  (AKA, I’ll be fine.)

I spoke with my husband about it later. “Don’t you think someone should go with him?”

“I have to work,” was the reply. He felt Wes would be fine, maybe even wanting to be independent. This I frowned at. (I am his mom, you know.)

“Yeah, but don’t you think someone should go?” My question resonated. Wait. That someone means me.

Last night, after baseball practice, I asked Wes. “What’s the plan for Wednesday?” to which he then said he was meeting at eleven o’clock and pitch.

Today, we headed to an appointment and I had him trapped in the van for an hour. Lucky me. We began talking about tomorrow.

“Don’t you think someone should go?” I nudged.

“Why? I’m just going to throw,” was his matter-of-fact-confident-I-can-do-this reply.

“Yeah, but don’t you think someone should go?” This question seemed familiar.

“What are you going to do?” Wes replied.
“I don’t know. I probably will just be sitting there, watching.” (And praying and cheering silently and… learning to let go). “I just think someone should go just in case there are questions or I have questions. I could be there.” My mind was thinking about several synopsis, and the unknown had me wondering more than anything.

At this, Wes turned toward me, smiled, and said, “If it will make you feel better, you can come. I’m fine with that.”

I think my son figured out that his mom is trying to support and not be too pushy, be loving while realizing he’s becoming an adult. He’s figuring out that this mom needs to be there just because she has been there all the time.

I love you, Wes.

The Field Beyond the Outfield

April 21, 2011

Field Beyond The Outfield (Scholastic Bookshelf)

The Field Beyond the Outfield is a different type of spin on the game of baseball. Many of the books I read on baseball have a connection to history; this one is not. A true fantasy, Mark Teague creates as if he tapped into a boy’s imagination. A boy who loves bugs more than baseball. A boy who lets his imagination go and becomes the hero in a truly remarkable game.

Ludlow Brebe is a boy who is great a science but lacks athletic ability. He enjoys exercising his mind more than his body.  He loves to daydream about creatures and have mysterious escapades.  Due to the encouragement of and respect for his parents, Ludlow joins a baseball team.

Ludlow is placed way out in the backfield, far away from the main action of the game. But his imagination does not stop. He begins to see another game, a baseball game beyond the outfield. Bugs are the main players and Ludlow is swept away. He becomes a player and hits a game winning hit.

Researching Mark Teague as an author, I found a wonderful author video. I find these interviews are great to show your students. In this video, Mark Teague shares how he began writing and how he uses his imaginations with illustrations.

Savorings for reading and in writing for The Field Beyond the Outfield:

  • Specific language – pennants, big-league
  • Imagination – creative story
  • Every day activity
  • One day event
  • Point of View

Baseball Hour

April 17, 2011

Yesterday, I spent nearly five hours outside watching my oldest play a double-header baseball game. It was rainy. It was cold. It was a motherly moment. Wrapped in blankets and eventually a sleeping bag, I was determined to survive the weather to cheer on my son. My husband had to work and one of us likes to be there. I pulled out my little notebook and kept score. I know how many pitches he threw and whether the throws were strikes, balls, or a hit.

While watching the games, I take in the setting, the comments, the action. Baseball Hour is a great book focusing on the action of the game. Bill Thomson’s illustrations are up close and personal. On one page, the bat seems the swing out through the page, almost 3D like.

Carol Nevius (rhymes with devious) writes in rhyme, two lines per two page spread. Her specific word choice adds the pop to the illustrated scenes. Your students will be drawn into this fantastic book.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Baseball Hour:

  • Two Word Phrases – “catchers catch and batters switch
  • Comma in a series
  • Simile
  • Varied punctuation – ellipse, possessive apostrophe, quotation marks
  • Illustrations – zooming in on the important part

SOL 20: How Do You Know Baseball Season Has Begun?

March 20, 2011

Today, I asked my husband, “Do you know how I know baseball season has begun?”

“Uh, Wesley’s baseball cleats are lying in the middle of the floor,” he replied.

“Not this time.”
“Wesley’s bat bag is lying on the couch?” he guessed again.
“Good guess, but not this time – thank goodness.”

My husband thought for a moment and then said, “Got it. You found a pair of dirt-stained baseball pants lying on the bathroom floor?”

“Yes. Scrub, scrub, scrub time is here again,” I pronounced.

Everyday, his white baseball pants have ground-in-dirt stains, deep-red infield stains, or slide-to-catch-the-fly-ball grass stains.  Every night I grab the Oxy Clean and All Stain-Fighting detergent to scrub, scrub, scrub the stains away.

I’m happy to be scrubbing away the winter blues.  Baseball, here we come!

Baseball Highlight

April 6, 2010

My son’s HS baseball team was selected as the WANE TV Team of the Week.  You can view the two minute video clip at the link below.  It’s exciting to see them play.  If you read my baseball banter post, this video helps you relate.

Baseball Video

Slice of Life: Baseball Banter

March 29, 2010

As I was listening to my son’s baseball game, one player’s voice seemed to rise above the rest.  His pitch added to the resounding boom of his words.  Naturally, I heard our players add in their rebounding comments.  In a strange way, the talk struck me as poetic, like a symphony of phrases.  Baseball has its own language. 

I grabbed my notebook and began to write as quick as I could.  I wanted to capture the vocal canter happening on the ball field.  In one way, the baseball banter was a two-, or possibly three-, voiced poem.  I’m not sure if I can scribe what I heard, but I want to try with at least one batter.  I scribed 5 pages worth and only made it through the first inning.  My hand could not keep up with the lingo that was happening.  I think I have a fun challenge ahead this season, as I know that my ear will be tuned in to the banter of baseball.

Balls in!

Let’s go Boggs; come on, Kurt                  Let’s go Justinnnn

Go 2-2                        PLAY BALL

                                       Strike                      Good pitchn babyyyyy;

                                                                         Let’s go babyyyyy

Let’s go Kurt                                               Come on 10; Good job,

                                                                         Will; Routine throw

Let’s go 12                   Strike                      Keep firing;

                                                                         You’re all right

Know what you’re looking for              Keep firing, babyyyyyy


                                          foul ball; 1 ball 2 strikes

Let’s go 1-2                                                    You’re all right; Don’t worry about it.

Box it up

Move him over                                             Yre still on top;

Do a job now, kid                                         You’re all right 10;

                                                                          Relax 10; Fire it in

Let’s go kiiiidd.


Run it out. 


Atta Boy, Kid!


October 14, 2009

Brothers.  My husband, Rick, shares stories about growing up with his brother, B.  Although Rick was always five years younger than B, Rick would try his hardest to be as good as his brother.  He wanted to be with his brother all the time.  By high school, they were doing many activities together.  They are still close, even though we are miles apart.

Tiki and Ronde Barber had a special brotherly relationship.  As twins, they must have done a lot together.  They collaborated with Robert Burleigh to create the book,  By My Brother’s Side.  Many students are intrigued with the fact that the authors are pro-football players.  Elementary students relate to the story as well with the brothers being their age doing activities they are involved in.

The story begins at the start of summer.  They are heading out to explore with their bikes, where a dare meets disaster.  Tiki has a bike accident that impairs his leg, forcing him to stay off of it for the summer.  The theme shows the boys being together through it all.  The book is an excellent, rich text that’s filled with huge teaching points.  Enjoy the great read!

Savorings for reading and writing for By My Brother’s Side:

  • Passage of Time – the story takes place through the summer months, highlighting the most important;  “July was long and hot.  whenever Ronde would go out to play baseball, Tiki would say, “Maybe I could just--“
  • Stretching a Scene – with each month, a scene is highlighted with the boys talking together
  • Perseverance – Ronde walked fast.  Tiki limped behind.  “Come on, Tiki.  You can do it.  I know you can.  We’re supposed to meet Chris in five minutes.
  • Semi-colon – Finally, the doctor gave his orders:  no more brace.
  • Importance of Studying – Before practice Ronde and Tiki sat under the bleachers with their notebooks spread out.  “Homework first,” their mom always said.


July 21, 2009

Happy 16th Birthday to my oldest son, Wesley!  He loves baseball, and I cannot imagine how many hours I have spent at the baseball diamond, park, or backyard watching him play.  He has been an enjoyment!

Being drawn to the sport, I collect baseball stories.  I was intrigued with this book when I visited the bookstore earlier this spring,  Michael’s Golden Rules.  Knowing the excellent text, Salt in His Shoes, I was delighted with the storyline in this new one.  Michael Jordan shares some insight into his winning attitude as he addresses the reader with a page-length introduction.  Michael shares that he is best known for his basketball skills, yet baseball was his first pick.

Michael's Golden Rules

Michael shares that he always felt like a winner because he followed the ten golden rules.  Those rules helped him on the court and in life.  Deloris Jordan and Roslyn Jordan give us a snapshot into Michael’s little league days.  His friend, Jonathan, is having trouble with playing and so his uncle shares the rules.  The text gives you snapshots of the boys talking about the game and life and applying the rules.  Although they do not win the big game, Jonathan feels like a winner.

I’ve learned it takes heart to come out a winner every time, whether you win or lose. MJ

I read this book to a fourth grade class this past spring, and they enjoyed it.  The boys were attentive and listened.  We talked about how the rules could be applied to the classroom.  It is an excellent text for building classroom community as well as boosting their self-confidence in learning.  Here a few of the rules:

  1. Pay attention to the coach at all times.
  2. Be a team player.
  3. Practice a winning attitude.
  4. Learn from your mistakes.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Michael’s Golden Rules:

  • Stretching the important scenes
  • Character traits
  • Internal Conflict and thinking
  • Play by play sections – this is a good mentor text for kids who like to tell about the “entire” game.  It shows how to fast-forward over slow parts and stretch the important scenes with conversation and internal thinking
  • Teaching perseverance


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