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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Fans of sports history in general and baseball in particular; readers with interests in women’s history, the 1960s, and all things Californian; and anyone who simply remembers names like Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Rollie Fingers, Dave Duncan, Tony La Russa, and other players from that era will find Summer on the Diamond as the 1966 Modesto Reds Bat Girl by Claudia Buob Hagen an enjoyable read. The Modesto Reds was a minor league team in California. The 1966 season in which they were the California League champions proved to be record-setting and historical in more ways than one. Claudia Buob, a spunky high school senior, wasn’t just an observer of it, but part of it. She was hired as one of four first-ever redheaded bat girls to work for the team that year.
Hagen doesn’t just write about her job, which included a television appearance on “What’s My Line.” In Summer on the Diamond as the 1966 Modesto Reds Bat Girl, Hagen also provides detailed introductory chapters for readers not familiar with the sport, historical excerpts from the team scrapbook, and biographical information on several of the players who went on to the major leagues and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Written in flowing narrative, almost conversational in tone, richly illustrated and superbly organized, this view of the sport through the eyes of a remarkable young woman, who went on to become a registered nurse and a hot air balloon pilot, is not only entertaining and educational, but simply charming. Highly recommended.