"You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen."
Opening day to most baseball fans is a rite of passage from winter doldrums to sports euphoria. It's an awakening. Hope springs eternal on Opening Day. To help celebrate the start of another baseball season, why not take a swing at some of these great baseball books available at the Milwaukee Public Library:
As a 9 year old boy, I had the priviledge of seeing Hank Aaron play at County Stadium. I was aware of his greatness from the many stories my grandfather and dad bombarded me with most every time a Brewer hit a homer. Besides being a great player, Henry Aaron is a successful businessman, advocate for social equality and fearless role model and is truly a man to be admired. After reading this biography, I hope you'll agree. Check availability
The Milwaukee Braves won the World Series in 1957 behind the play of, amongst others, Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews, Warren Spahn, Bob Buhl and Johnny Logan. These guys couldn't buy a beer in Milwaukee. Unfortunately, subsequent years didn't pan out for the beloved Braves and they moved to Atlanta in 1966. Published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and written by Mequon born author William Povletich, this attractive book is loaded with quotes, pictures and stories from the players. Check availability
The first time I opened this book I saw a photo of Bonnie Brewer racing across the field holding her base-sweeping broom and I was hooked. Though this history only touches on the minor league Brewers for a scant few pages, i loved the chapters on the 70's and 80's Brewers. There is also a "On This Date" section that highlights some great moments in Milwaukee Baseball history by date. Pretty cool. Check availability.
Published in 2007 in Stevens Point and written by longtime Milwaukee Journal Sentinel baseball writer Tom Haudricourt and with a forward by Bob Uecker, this nostalgic book features interviews from most of the 1982 American League Champion Milwaukee Brewers players. It offers up lots of tall tales and memories along with what the players have been up to in recent years. Many are still active in baseball through coaching, etc. My favorite is that reliever Randy Lerch operates and teaches how to run a backhoe! Check availability
"The only way I get the most out of myself is to push myself as hard as I can, every pitch of every inning of every game."
Robin Yount, 1980
Published by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1992 to commemorate Robin Yount getting his 3000th hit in the big leagues, this excellent 80 page book lists every hit that Robin got by date, opponent and pitcher that he got the hit off. It's full of quotes and photos and is a fitting tribute to the classiest guy to ever wear a Milwaukee Brewers uniform. Check availability
It wouldn't be Opening Day without giving a nod to our divisional rivals from across the state line to the south. So for a good laugh, (or a good cry if you happen to be a Cubs fan) read about the famous "Cubs Billy Goat Curse" placed in 1945 by Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis and his goat after fans objected to the odor of the goat and they both were ejected from Wrigley Field during a World Series game against Detroit. Check availability.
Knife salesman Gil Renard is a BIG TIME fan of the Sox and their new star player Bobby Rayburn. Unfortunately, Bobby is in a huge hitting slump and Gil is NOT HAPPY. As Gil's life unwinds into complete insanity, one can only hope Bobby raises his batting average! This is a tightly written thriller that explores how some fans take it just a little too far. The film version features Robert DeNiro as a great Gil. Check availability.
When New York Mammoth's rookie catcher Bruce Pearson develops Hodgkin's Disease, star pitcher Henry Wiggen is the only teammate who knows about the terminal condition. Sometimes a rousing locker room baseball story, sometimes a mirror of our own mortality, this book is a winner, regardless of what happens to Bruce Pearson. Check availability.
Submitted by Dan@Central