Lipman Pike was a Dutch Jewish immigrant who played baseball professionally
in the 1800s. This interesting biography picture book written for
6 to 10-year-olds tells his story beautifully. Not only did Lipman
become a baseball player, but he went on to become America's first
home run king.
This book is wonderful for introducing younger students to baseball's
history in America. In doing so, it also introduces other historical
figures worth noting. For example, Lipman Pike took a job working
at Tammany Hall for Boss Tweed.
Boss Tweed owned the New York Mutuals team and wanted Lipman
to play ball for him. "Of course, we can't pay you," Boss Tweed explained. "That
would be against Base Ball Association policy, and, as New York's
Commissioner of Public Works, I would never break the rules." He
waved Lip closer so he could whisper. "But I can offer you
a job in our government office at Tammany Hall. You would have
little work to do and plenty of time to play ball."
You'll discover in your American history studies, if you haven't
already, that Boss Tweed was involved in some very famous political
scandals that rocked the nation. What a great way to connect history
and sports with real people! The author includes a lengthy note
at the end of the book providing even more historical information
about how baseball got started in America, how it developed during
the Civil War and throughout the 1800s, and what happened to Lipman
Pike during and after his baseball career.
This book is a wonderful biography worth your time, especially
if your kids have an interest in baseball! You'll enjoy this story
and the excellent illustrations. Highly recommended!