Baseball Around the World

How the World Plays the Game

Children - Non-Fiction
32 Pages
Reviewed on 06/22/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Dr. Jordan Alexander for Readers' Favorite

Baseball Around the World by Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell hits a home run for fans and enthusiasts of the game. Focusing on a dozen different countries, the colorfully set-out book is packed full of interesting statistics about notable teams, festive food choices for fans, and a timeline of key milestones for the sport’s development in each country. With lots of photos, graphics, and pop-out boxes, it is easy for readers to jump to specific areas of interest. You can home in on the history, fast facts, or ‘did you know’ sections. You can find a who’s who of players, mini maps to show team locations in each country, and listings of major stadiums. Singleton and Burrell are writing for children aged seven to eleven, but adults that love the game as much as I do will thoroughly enjoy learning many new and interesting facts.

I enjoyed learning about women’s involvement in the game, why speaking Spanish is essential for team managers, and how the game arrived Down Under. The multicultural view offered in Baseball Around the World helps readers imagine what it might be like to watch or play the game in different nations. You might eat hot dogs in the stands in the United States, while in Italy you’ll likely be sipping espresso, eating panini sandwiches, and enjoying gelato. The book concludes with an interesting history of Little League and how twenty-eight countries so far have participated in its World Series.

Teachers will love Baseball Around the World as an engaging, easy-to-digest resource for students to make country comparisons. The book offers an encyclopedia-style reference for learners to effectively examine countries, learn about how place influences the sport, and also touches on issues of politics, gender, and diversity. Despite the differences in baseball’s development over the years in different countries, Singleton and Burrell also emphasize the shared heart of the game. “One of the great things about the game is that it shows people how we are all equal.” Baseball Around the World is a well-presented, informative look at how the love of the game can unify us all, no matter where on the planet we call home.

Philip Van Heusen

I used to be a casual follower of baseball. However, after reading Baseball Around the World: How the World Play the Game, I might just become a fan of the sport. Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell produced an excellent volume explaining baseball, its history, and how the game developed globally. As a historian, I find this book invaluable. This part of history is often overlooked. Baseball fans will enjoy this book as it shares information concerning baseball as it is played in many different countries. In addition, it is interesting to see the part the US military around the world has played in introducing or encouraging baseball. I never knew how many foreign-born players there are in the MLB. This is an eye-opener into the world of baseball.

What does a communist country like Cuba or Venezuela have in common with free countries like Italy and America? If you guessed baseball, you guessed correctly. Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell share how much the world has in common through the lens of baseball. Many countries peacefully gather for international tournaments. Little League teams are on every continent under every type of government. However, in Baseball Around the World, we can see how much the people of different countries have in common. Chris and Dean hope to use their love for baseball as a starting point for peace in the world. Maybe, if we major in how we are alike instead of different, we can change the world. Other countries may have different baseball seasons, but it is still baseball. What else do others share with us?

Pikasho Deka

Baseball Around the World is an informational guidebook showcasing the ways America's favorite pastime took hold around the world and how other nations added their own ingredients to it. Written by Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell, the book consists of excerpts and photographs providing titbits that any baseball fan will devour with relish. Around 1972, an English teacher named Horace Wilson sowed the seeds of baseball in Japan. Now, it is the most popular sport in Japan. In the late 19th century, an American missionary named Philip Gillet went to Korea and introduced the local youth to the game of baseball. Unlike the MLB, games in the Korean league can end in a tie. In January 2022, history was made when Genevieve Beacom became the first woman to pitch in a professional Australian Baseball League game.

If you consider yourself a baseball fan, Baseball Around the World is a must-read. Authors Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell's short yet thoroughly compelling book feels like an ode to the game of baseball itself. The authors recount the different countries and cultures that have embraced America's favorite pastime and sprinkled some of their own unique flavors to make it their own. Complemented by catchy photographs, these informative excerpts perfectly demonstrate how sports are intrinsically linked to humans and how they find a way to bridge the gap between different cultures and make it easier for people to connect to each other. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Recommended to baseball lovers and sports fans in general.

Edith Wairimu

Baseball Around the World: How the World Plays the Game by Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell is an engrossing, educative work that traces baseball’s history from being an amateur sport back in the 1800s to becoming an international sport. It examines how baseball traveled to different countries including Panama, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Japan, and the impact it has had on different nations. Despite obstacles such as lack of inclusion, political challenges, language barriers, and lack of opportunities for players from developing countries, the sport has continued to evolve, gaining loyal fandom across the world and providing opportunities for numerous players. Little League Baseball, which is aimed at children, also continues to impact young lives throughout the world.

The details in Baseball Around the World by Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell are informative for both young and adult audiences. I loved that the work includes clear photographs of many iconic baseball players who are mentioned in the book. I enjoyed the surprising facts such as the differences in snack preferences during baseball games by fans from different cultures. I also loved learning about the game’s role in changing and improving lives and promoting equality. I liked reading about baseball’s evolution such as the positive changes that have occurred recently - seventeen-year-old Genevieve Beacom became the first female baseball player to pitch in the Australian Baseball League. Overall, the work shows how baseball has been a channel for building cohesion among different cultures. Baseball Around the World is a fantastic work recommended for all baseball fans regardless of their age. It is a valuable resource for readers who want to learn how the game grew to become a world sport.

Kristine Zimmerman

It's baseball season. Time for some hot dogs, peanuts, and takoyaki! What is takoyaki you might ask? It is a fried dough ball filled with octopus. If you've never had takoyaki at the ballpark, well, then you probably haven't been to a game in Japan. That is just one of the fun facts found in Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell's new book, Baseball Around the World: How the World Plays the Game. Even though we think of baseball as an American sport, it has been played around the world for over a hundred years. Singleton and Burrell highlight twelve countries and provide a timeline, a brief history, current information about players and teams, and some fun facts for each place. Many countries have thriving baseball leagues that often lead to players coming to the U.S. to play in the major leagues.

Baseball Around the World is a fun and interesting read for any young baseball fan. I had no idea that baseball was played in so many countries. Each two-page spread is attractively laid out, with a timeline at the bottom, and short independent sections, perfect for young readers. I must admit I'm not a huge baseball fan, but Baseball Around the World kept me turning the pages. The history and interesting tidbits about the food and the fans were truly fascinating. Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell show how baseball has become a beloved sport around the world, enjoyed by both young and old. Baseball Around the World will delight baseball fans of all ages and might even inspire them to head out to play a game of catch!