janet wyman Coleman

“One bends down and grabs it off the ground. The other reaches up and pulls it out of the sky.” So begins the game of baseball, and "Baseball For Everyone, Stories From the Great Game." The anecdotes are not just about baseball players and games, but also folk artists who carved, painted and sewed figures and symbols from the American pastime. One baseball hero made more money than the President of the United States. Another was ridiculed and intentionally spiked by players sliding towards him. There are female players, Little Leaguers, and baseball heroes from Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Japan. "King" Kelly was famous for his hurricane dives when he stole bases, and Fred Merkle was infamous for one mistake.

The stories are surrounded by baseballs (one made of mattress ticking), life-size carnival figures, weathervanes and paintings of famous stadiums. A school teacher created a quilt in homage to Jackie Robinson and a convict sewed a portrait of Mickey Mantle out of the threads from his socks and underwear. The artists and athletes in "Baseball For Everyone" share a passion for a game that has thrilled people of different ages and backgrounds for over 150 years. The author hopes that young artists will be encouraged to play and young fans will want to create baseball art of their own. ("Baseball For Everyone, Stories From the Great Game" was published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in association with the American Folk Art Museum in 2003.)

Awards & Reviews

Best Children's Books of 2003, Publishers Weekly (Nov. 10, 2003)

Parents Choice Award for Nonfiction.

"Who would have thought reading a book could be as much fun as playing the game?"

St. Petersburg Times

"This elegant volume may well be irresistible to fans of America's pastime. The lively, informative text traces the history of the sport from its beginnings....The result is as inspiring as it is entertaining. This attractive volume, enticingly packaged with a plethora of photographs, memorabilia and often astonishing folk art, will certainly whet appetites. The book's crisp design also hits a home run, making the most of a visual bounty that helps to underscore the sport's tremendous influence on the national psyche." Publishers Weekly

"This well written, child-friendly history addresses the game of baseball as it relates to the culture of the nation...Published to coincide with an exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum in NYC, the work is copiously illustrated with photographs of artifacts from the exhibition. There are the requisite paintings, drawings, and photographs, but there are also advertising signs and figures, sculptures, illustrated scorecards, games, weather vanes, quilts and needlework, and other objects that are entirely unique.... A great addition to the literature of the great American game." Kirkus Review

    “Two friends throw a ball

                            back and  forth....”

In the 1880s, manufacturers put a stiff piece of cardboard in cigarette packages to keep the cigarettes from breaking. When they started to print pictures of baseball players on the cardboard, the baseball card was born.  Honus Wagner who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t want his image used , because he didn’t approve of cigarettes. As a result very few Wagner cards were printed. In 2000, an Honus Wagner baseball card was auctioned for $1, 265,000.