• Happy birthday Constance C. Greene (Beat the Turtle Drum) and Lillian Morrison (Yours Till Niagara Falls).
  • It’s the birth date of Enid Bagnold (1889–1981), National Velvet.
  • Also born on this day were President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (1858–1919) and Isaac Merrit Singer (1811–1875) who invented first practical home sewing machine.
  • The word "jazz" appears in Variety magazine, in 1916, the first published reference to this uniquely American music. Read Jazz by Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers, This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt and R. G. Roth, and Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo and Diane Dillon.

Today the boys of October, the World Series contenders, begin the final part of the yearly epic quest—to gain the World Series pennant. For over a century, baseball and baseball legend have been an integral part of American life.

If you plan to watch or attend the World Series, or if you just want to have a good laugh about the sport, pick up one of the funniest and most original baseball books—Brian Lies’s Bats at the Ballgame. This is not a saga of baseball bats but real bats (with wings!) that play baseball. As Brian introduces the story: “Restless wings begin to itch— / excitements at a fever pitch. / At last it’s time, and with a sigh, / we hustle out to diamond sky.” In this playoff, a heroic bat team faces their arch-rivals, the ones they never seem to beat.

If you are a bat, the ballpark contains a lot of delicious food—mothdogs, Cricket Jack, and beenuts. Even the bases have been marked by sugar sacks. Of course, infield flies have an entirely different meaning to bats than they do to humans. But the process of batball seems to run much like the national pastime—singing the anthem, six scoreless innings, seventh-inning stretch, bad umpire calls. It isn’t any easier for these bats to watch their beloved champions than it is for me to view the Red Sox. But then, success! And the rising sun draws the crowd back to their homes.

Brian has brilliantly captured the tears and triumphs of the sport. He has created individual and expressive characters and keeps readers amused on every page. Looking at each page is as enjoyable as reading the text. For those who know something about baseball history, the double-page spread featuring great moments from the sport’s past is hysterically funny. And who can resist the rewrite of that old refrain, “Buy me some beenuts and Cricket Jack”?

I just hope everyone watching the World Series tonight has as much fun at the game as these bats do. If not, turn off television and read Bats at the Ballgame again. The book will definitely leave you with wonderful memories of a magical evening and a smile on your face.

Here’s a page from Bats at the Ballgame:


Originally posted October 27, 2010. Updated for .

Tags: Animals, Baseball, Bats, Humor, Sports
Instructional materials from TeachingBooks.net for Bats at the Ballgame


  1. As soon as we found this on the library shelf, my younger kids were thrilled since we’re already big fans of Lies other BATS AT… books. Even my ten year old baseball fan (who has also loved the other bat books since he was younger) joined us for our first read through of this one- these books BEG to be read aloud.

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