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LIPMAN PIKE by Richard Michelson

LIPMAN PIKE

America's First Home Run King

By Richard Michelson (Author) , Zachary Pullen (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58536-465-7
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Lipman Pike played “Base” every chance he could get in his Brooklyn neighborhood. His parents were not sure it was the right thing for a Jewish boy to be doing, but they also want him to fit in with his peers. This was post–Civil War America, and the game was still in its infancy, at least in terms of organized play. The first leagues were loosely formed and were for amateurs, although several players were secretly paid. When Lip grew up, he was fast and strong and could hit for distance. He played variously for teams in Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City and Troy, N.Y. He often faced anti-Semitism and distrust, but he won over his teammates and the “cranks” with his outstanding play. He led his league in home runs and even proved he could outrun a racehorse. Michelson adeptly employs fictional conversations interwoven with factual details as he reconstructs a long-forgotten time, managing to bring Pike’s story out of obscurity and relate it to modern young readers. Pullen’s lively, large-scale, brightly colored illustrations vividly capture the action and the time period. Text pages are augmented with sepia drawings of 19th-century newspapers, baseball scenes and equipment. An insight into baseball and America that is at once historical and timeless. (author's note) (Picture book. 6-10)