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Play Ball!

July 29, 2023
Players on the Nashville Vols minor league baseball team, 1956

Batter up!

Summer is here, and we are officially in baseball season. Whether you’re a fan of the Nashville Sounds, the VandyBoys, the Nashville Maroons Vintage Base Ball team, or other local teams, there are many great options to watch America’s favorite pastime here in Nashville.

NPL also has plenty of resources for baseball lovers of a variety of ages and interests.

Have you ever wondered about the history of baseball in Nashville? 

Check out this blog post on the history of the Nashville Vols minor league team; these images in our digital collection with Nashville baseball players through the ages; and this spotlight on Nashville’s semi-pro African American baseball team, the Nashville Stars.

Do you know any young readers who want to read more stories about baseball? 

Take a peek at this list of baseball-themed books in our Children’s collection

Have you always wanted to know how to score a baseball scorecard? 

Here’s a how-to guide (part one and part two) from NPL librarian John McFarland.

If you’re still looking for more baseball-related reads, NPL has you covered.

NPL Baseball Reads 

Is it even possible to have a list of baseball-related books without including Roger Angell? Maybe, but I don’t want to risk it. (Fun fact– did you know Angell was the stepson of Charlotte’s Web author, E.B. White?

Sometimes called the ‘Poet Laureate of Baseball,’ Angell is widely considered to be one of the greatest baseball writers of all time. Even non-baseball fans may find themselves moved by his lyrical, thoughtful writing, like this passage from his 1975 New Yorker article, “Agincourt and After,”

It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look—I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring—caring deeply and passionately, really caring—which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naïveté—the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball—seems a small price to pay for such a gift.

The Summer Game is Angell’s love letter to 1960s baseball and is a great primer to the rest of his body of work.

Tipping the scales at nearly 900 pages, The Baseball 100 is not for the faint of heart. However, for readers who do take on the 2021 Casey Award winner for Best Baseball Book of the Year, they will be richly rewarded as acclaimed baseball writer Joe Posnanski stakes his position on the 100 greatest baseball players of all time. Exploring each player, their context, and their contributions to the game, The Baseball 100 is a heartfelt tribute to baseball’s history and its great players.

In this charming rom-com by Linda Holmes, MLB pitcher Dean Tenney is looking for a place to retreat from the public eye after a recent bout of the “yips.” Heading back to coastal Maine to work on his game, he accepts a guest room with his late friend’s widowed wife, Evvie. Both are eager to keep their secrets and broker a truce– Evvie won’t ask Dean about baseball, and Dean won’t ask Evvie about her marriage. However, as Evvie and Dean become closer and their relationship grows, they find that life can throw them a curveball when they least expect it. 

When Westish College’s star baseball player makes an errant throw, the impact has a ricochet effect that ripples through five different lives: Henry, the star player; Mike, the team captain; Owen, Henry and Mike’s teammate; Guert, the college’s president; and Pella, Guert’s daughter. As the season draws to a close, each of these characters finds themselves reckoning with an unexpected course of events and must learn how to pick up the pieces when life does not turn out exactly as planned. 



Joy is a librarian at the Main Library. A native Nashvillian, she’s excited to be working for her hometown public library. When not at the library, she loves reading genre fiction, watching tennis, or searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.

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