As summer winds to an end, thoughts will slowly begin to turn to that quintessentially American pastime, baseball, and, of course, to the World Series. So, what better time to write about two great baseball legends – Satchel Paige and Joe DiMaggio.
This is the story of a try out of sorts – a try out for Joe DiMaggio, to see just how good he really was. And, since Satchell Paige was at that time considered the best pitcher in either the white OR the black baseball league, the baseball powers that be organized a game to give Joe a test. Never mind that they put together a professional team, the Dick Bartell All-Stars against the Satchell Paige All-Stars, a gang of semi-pro pickup players.
For a child who is interested in baseball or sports in general this book, Something to Prove is a great story of two legends of baseball – the best pitcher and best hitter at that time. Be sure to pay special attention to all the clever and unusual names Satchell gave to his pitches – for example, he had a “whipsey dipsey do.”
It tells in a gentle way for children, something of the difficulties that black players confronted – it would be quite some time before Satchell Paige would be allowed to play for a white baseball club – he was in fact, the oldest rookie ever – 42! Both Joe and Satchell earned places in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Robert Skead, ably assisted with the muted illustrations of Floyd Cooper, hits a home run and brings a couple of baseball greats to life for a new generation.