Growing Up with Baseball


Growing Up with Baseball

How We Loved and Played the Game

Gary Land

194 pages


September 2004


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Long, leisurely summer days playing pick-up games in the neighborhood sandlot; that first, awe-inspiring glimpse of a major league field; playing catch in the backyard; collecting baseball cards; pouring over box scores—for many, baseball is the stuff of an American childhood. The thirty personal recollections in this book reflect the great variety of this uniquely American experience as well as the common spirit that unites all fans of baseball.

An anecdotal history of America’s pastime from the 1930s to the 1990s, Growing Up with Baseball shows us how it was watched, played, and lived not by superstar athletes and multimillionaire owners but by everyday people. A missionary’s son learns to read by comparing the sports reports in Time Magazine with Mel Allen’s announcing over Armed Forces Radio; a young girl reaches puberty at approximately the same time that the Red Sox get their “impossible dream” pennant; boys gather by day to play ball on an old Pittsburgh tennis court, then camp there at night while listening to the Pirates on the radio; a young man encounters the Fogarty brothers, of Credence Clearwater Revival, on the sandlots of Berkeley.

Here are the moments of youthful innocence and coming of age in America, from the big leagues to the backyard to the tabletop game and baseball solitaire, all narrated with the warmth and spirit that are part of baseball’s enduring charm.

Author Bio

Gary Land is a professor of history at Andrews University. He has edited and written several books, including (with Calvin W. Edwards) Seeker after Light: A. F. Ballenger, Adventism, and American Christianity.


“A cause for quiet celebration. . . . It is filled with trivia and wry humor that can occupy a few minutes reading a night or make an afternoon spent consuming its pages a very fine day at the beach.”—S. Michael Dewey, Aethlon