It doesn’t make sense that baseball, a sport that must appear in the dictionary under “summer” (along with ice cream and swimming) is no longer an Olympic sport. I know there is an effort to bring it back for the 2020 Games so maybe we’ll see a pitch being thrown in Madrid, Istanbul or Tokyo.
Baseball was an Olympic sport during Hank Greenberg’s lifetime, but he was never an Olympic athlete. In 1940, a year he would have been the obvious first baseman for the American team, the games were cancelled because of WWII.
Two nights ago I visited the Thayer Public Library in Braintree to talk about Hank as part of the library’s One Braintree, One Book baseball-themed program. Since you can’t watch baseball in London, it was nice to be with other fans of the game and talk about the days before there were night games!
If you know a child who is cheering for Missy Franklin and the other American swimmers, you may want to check out John Feinstein’s latest mystery for middle grade readers: Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics. This installment of the popular sports-based mysteries features one of the young detectives, Susan Carol, swimming for gold in London. What my son always enjoyed most about Feinstein’s series is that the author uses “real” people in the books. For example, Bob Costas and Michael Phelps both appear in Rush for the Gold. I plan to order this for Inly’s Library because I’m guessing there may be a few new Olympic fans among our students!