b. November 25, 1914
d. March 8, 1999
THE STREAK: HOW JOE DIMAGGIO BECAME AMERICA’S HERO
by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Terry Widener
“It all started quietly like a conversation with Joe DiMaggio himself.” In 1941, the war in Europe is on every American’s mind, that is, until Joe DiMaggio’s record smashing hitting streak begins, and goes on and on.
Learn more about Joe DiMaggio on the official site here.
Louis Sockalexis, athlete
Oct. 24, 1871-Dec. 24, 1913
Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer by Bill Wise, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth (Lee and Low, 2007)
Sockalexis, the first Native American major league baseball player, won the hearts of fans with his incredible skill, but the prejudice he faced on the field and off was intense. A note in the Afterword mentions that almost fifty years after Sockalexis’ rookie year, African American Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the major leagues.
Visit the Official Site of the Cleveland Indians, Sockalexis’ team, then known as the Cleveland Spiders.
Roberto Clemente, athlete
Aug. 18, 1934-Dec. 31, 1972
Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Raul Colon (Atheneum/Anne Schwartz Books, 2005)
Inspirational. From Clemente’s childhood of poverty to World Series triumph, and then tragic death, Clemente lives on as a role model on and off the field.
Continue reading about Clemente at the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service.
Jorge Posada, athlete
Aug. 17, 1971-
Play Ball! by Jorge Posada with Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Raul Colon (Simon& Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2006)
Dreams can come true. New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada’s perseverance and hard work are captured in this story based on his childhood in Puerto Rico. Way cool–this book is also available in Spanish.
To learn more about Jorge Posada’s stats, visit Baseball-Reference.
Alta Weiss, baseball player
February 9, 1889 – February 12, 1964
Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Terry Widener (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2003).
A fictional picture book based on the female baseball player Alta Weiss who was the first woman to pitch for a semipro all-male team.