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The Baseball Book: A Young Player’s Guide to Baseball

by Kevin Briand

The blurb on the back – “Everything you need to know to play the greatest game in the world! ” – sums up this book’s tone and presentation perfectly.

The Baseball Book, by Toronto Blue Jays scout Kevin Briand (with an introduction by Jays manager Buck Martinez), mixes equal parts technical instruction and enthusiastic advice, covering just about every aspect of the game imaginable. Its goal is to introduce young readers to the game and help those already caught up in “diamond fever” to develop their skills.

Not everyone will agree with Briand that baseball is the world’s top sport, but there’s no argument that it’s a complicated one with many intricate rules. This excellent primer covers everything from baseball basics to a more complex discussion of game tactics.

Particularly useful are the book’s full-colour illustrations, which depict, in step-by-step sequences, the proper approach for catching a pop fly, bunting, and so on. Photos of pros in action will also provide young players with a little inspiration.

And, since baseball has always been a game that’s as much about history and folklore as it is about pitching and batting, Briand has included baseball songs, the history of the game, and classic sayings such as “It ain’t over till it’s over.”