It’s Outta Here! The Might and Majesty of the Home Run

Millbrook. (Spectacular Sports). Apr. 2021. 64p. Tr $34.65. ISBN 9781728417165.
Gr 4-7–From Babe Ruth ending the “dead ball” era with 11 homers in 1918 to the spectacular 2019 season, when four MLB teams overtook the previous team home run record of 267, the “long ball” has continued to be the “biggest play in baseball.” Readers encounter the rich history of the play and also the physics involved, including informative discussions of concepts like kinetic energy, exit velocity, and launch angle. Another chapter outlines 25 memorable dingers. In discussions of history, Doeden is frank about the racism that has bedeviled the game, noting, for example, the hate directed at Hank Aaron as he approached Ruth’s career home run record in 1974. Sidebar texts interspersed throughout highlight adjacent topics such as the use of steroids by players and the effect of altitude on ball travel in Denver’s Coors Field. They also showcase lesser-known players like Negro Leaguer Josh Gibson, who is reported to have hit a ball over the third deck at Yankee Stadium, and Sadaharu Oh, the Japanese slugger who notched 868 career homers in the 1960s and 70s. Copious photos from throughout the sport’s history, as well as helpful illustrations, keep the layout fresh and appealing. A page of source notes and a list of recommended books and websites, as well as a glossary and index, round out the back matter.
VERDICT An easy sell for sports fans and reluctant readers, as well as an effective history resource, this book is recommended for most elementary and middle school collections.

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