A Baseball Duo
Baseball is often called America's sport, its national pastime.
Many people take their major league loyalties very seriously. (If I
had a dollar every time a Mainer donned a Red Sox shirt I would be a
happy camper.) Some of the athletes they have admired over the
decades have had to overcome serious obstacles to earn their places on
teams. Lively new books tell us the stories of two who were
encouraged and inspired by their brothers.
Emily Arnold McCully's Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy
Story is about a very determined girl. Lizzie, born in 1894, showed
her gift at the age of six, playing catch with her baseball playing
brother. Although her mother told them not to, her brother and
father, who also had been a player, encouraged her to develop her
talent. Her dad gave her his old ball and glove. It was an uphill
struggle. But talent, determination, and an ability to negotiate
enabled her to become the the first woman to play on both Major League
Growing up poor in the Dominican Republic, Pedro Martinez,
protagonist of Matt Tavares' Growing Up Pedro had a steep climb to the
major lagues. From early boyhood he dreamed of following in older
brother Ramon's footsteps. He had his sights set on the two of them
playing in the major leagues. Unlike Ramon, however, he was small and
thin, hardly starting pitcher material in many people's eyes. My
favorite part of this story is that, although he became rich and
famous, he never forgot where he came from. He donated time and money
so that people in the Dominican Republic, especially children could
have better lives and futures.
If you have a child who lives and breathes baseball, either of
these books would be a fine choice for a summer read.
On a personal note, I haven't forgotten that I promised to tell you
the two special events of my Fathers Day weekend. The first was the
marathon which was the first ever held at the University of Maine.
The day before I helped get ready. That day would have been perfect.
The day of the actual race was anything but. Did it ever rain! My
job was to stand at a turn for six hours to make sure all the over 500
runners went in the right direction. They ran a course twice. Half
marathoners ran it once. I had a blaze orange flag to catch their
eye. They were so nice, thanking me for volunteering. Even with a
poncho I was soaked when I got to my daughter Amber's home for fathers
day supper. I ate it in her pajamas. That was a day to remember!
A great big shout out goes out to the dedicated runners who were
gracious even when soldiering on in the rain and my many fellow
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod