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Baseball... As American
as Apple Pie

Baseball... As American as Apple Pie
[Detail] Base ball.
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"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime."
~ Babe Ruth

primary source set

This Primary Source Set includes images, sheet music, a motion picture and analysis tools to help teach about baseball across various sectors of American society.

online resources
Especially for Teachers...

Baseball - (Prints and Photographs) View a selection of images depicting baseball from the online version of Pictorial Americana.

Baseball and Jackie Robinson: Early Baseball Pictures 1860’s – 1960’s - (Special Presentation) View a sampler of thirty-four images related to early baseball (1860s-1920s) from various files and collections in the Prints and Photographs Division.

Baseball in the Library of Congress: A Selected List of Sites - (Library of Congress Bibliography) These Library of Congress sites include graphic or textual materials relating to baseball.

Baseball, the Color Line and Jackie Robinson - (Special Presentation) This Web site reference aid was created to commemorate Jackie Robinson’s achievements and describe some aspects of the color line's development and the Negro Leagues.

Black Diamond! Satchel Page and the Negro Baseball Leagues - (Library of Congress Live) Use this guide to learn more about the Negro Leagues.

Business of Baseball, The - (Library of Congress Bibliography) This guide from Business Reference Services provides resources on the major league baseball business in the United States.

From Bach to Baseball Cards: Preserving the Nation’s Heritage at the Library of Congress - (Special Presentation) Learn how baseball cards and other library treasures are preserved at the Library of Congress.

Historic Baseball Resources - (Special Presentation) This site highlights player profiles, historical news and events, and additional Library of Congress resources related to baseball.

Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Nine Values to Live By - (Cybercast) View a Center of the Book interview with Sharon Robinson discussing the book she wrote about her father.

John Bull and Uncle Sam; Popular Culture: From Baseball to Rock and Roll - (Exhibition) Was baseball a British import? Explore this exhibit and compare British and American popular pastimes.

Reflections on the First Baseball Classic of 2006 - (Cybercast) Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, professor of comparative literature at Yale University and an expert on baseball, discusses this 2006 event.

Spalding Base Ball Guides: Title List - (American Memory Collection) View the full text of a selection of Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guides and the Official Indoor Base Ball Guides.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game - (Special Presentation) Learn the history of this popular classic, link to the sheet music, and access more than 140 other baseball-related songs.

Tinkers to Evers to Chance - (Special Presentation) This presentation features baseball’s double-play threesome - Chicago Cubs infielders Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance.

  Especially for your Students...

American Treasures: A Letter from Jackie Robinson - (Exhibition) In this 1947 letter to friend, Ralph Norton, Jackie tells about his debut as the first African American to play major league baseball.

American Treasures: Baseball Cards - (Exhibition) Learn about the early history of baseball cards.

American Treasures: Breaking the Color Line - (Exhibition) Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play Major League baseball in the twentieth century.

American Treasures: Great Baseball Match - (Exhibition) View an 1879 baseball broadside.

American Treasures: Jackie Robinson Papers - (Exhibition) Read Jackie Robinson’s speech attributing his success to America’s status as "a free society."

American Treasures: The Cincinnati Reds - (Exhibition) In 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings was the first all-professional baseball team in America.

American Treasures: The Jackie Robinson Story - (Exhibition) Jackie Robinson starred in a 1950 feature film about his life.

American Treasures: The Mighty Casey - (Exhibition) American composer and educator, William Schuman, spent from 1951 to 1953 working on his first opera based on the poem Casey at the Bat by Ernest L. Thayer.

AmericanTreasures: Baseball Songs - (Exhibition) Learn about the birth of baseball songs.

Branch Rickey’s Scouting Report on Don Drysdale - (Document) Read Branch Rickey's 1954 scouting report on eighteen-year-old Don Drysdale.

Join America at Play: Batter Up - (America's Library) Answer questions to baseball history questions to make a base hit in this fact filled baseball trivial game.

Join America at Play: Play Ball - (America's Library) Read stories about baseball – America’s national pastime.

Today in History (August 6, 1890) Cy Young - (Today in History) On August 6, 1890, Cy Young pitched his first professional game.

Today in History (December 22, 1862)The Tall Tactician - (Today in History) Meet Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy of early major league baseball fame (Philadelphia Athletics) who was born on this date in 1862.

Today in History (July 18, 1927) Ty Cobb the Georgia Peach - (Today in History) - On July 18, 1927, Ty Cobb recorded his 4,000th career hit.

Today in History (July 7, 1906) Satchel Paige - (Today in History) Baseball pitcher Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige was born on July 7, ca. 1906, in Mobile, Alabama.

Today in History (October 1, 1961) Home Run Kings - (Today in History) On October 1, 1961, Roger Maris hit homerun number 61 and broke Babe Ruth’s 1927 record for the most home runs in a single season. On October 1, 1903, the first game of the modern World Series was played.

Today in History (October 15, 1972) World Series Commemoration - (Today in History) On this date, Jackie Robinson threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the second game of the World Series commemorating the 25th anniversary of his becoming the first African-American to play in modern Major League Baseball.

We are the Champions - (Wise Guide) Browse a sampling of baseball resources in the Library of Congress collections in this entertaining article.

lesson plans

Use these lesson plans (created by educators for educators) to explore topics about baseball in America with your students in your classroom:

Jackie Steals Home - (Grades 9-12) Students explore racism in the United States, both in and out of sports.

Rounding the Bases - (Grades 9-12) Students use primary sources focused on baseball to explore the American experience regarding race and ethnicity.

Two Unreconciled Strivings - (Grades 11-12) Students examine the tension experienced by African-Americans during the Gilded Age. The Play section highlights the African-American experience in baseball.

When Work is Done - (Grade 11) Students develop albums that reflect a thesis about leisure time in the United States between 1900 and 1950. Students may choose to focus on the topic of baseball for their group album projects.


Is there a title (or two) that you always read to (or with) your students when teaching about the topic of baseball in America? Are there invaluable reference books that you use when working with this theme? Staff from The Library of Congress have generously donated favorite titles for the "Baseball... As American as Apple Pie..." theme. We hope you will contribute your favorite titles to our growing bibliography!

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collection connections

Create your own collaborative lesson plans using material related to this month's theme assembled from The Learning Page Collection Connections:

Baseball Cards, 1887-1914 - (Summary and Teaching Resources) Baseball was growing in popularity at the turn of the century. This collection of 2,100 early baseball cards provides a launching point for the study of this era of United States history.

By Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s - (Summary and Teaching Resources) Discover strategies to integrate Library of Congress primary source documents illustrating baseball’s story historically, culturally and economically into your teaching.

Spalding Base Ball Guides - (Summary Only)

Stars and Stripes: The American Soldiers' Newspaper of World War I, 1918-1919 - (Summary and Teaching Resources) Search the collection using the term "baseball" to find related articles.

Photographs From the Chicago Daily News, 1902-1933 - (Summary and Teaching Resources) Search this collection using the term "baseball" for hundreds of photos documenting the popularity of the sport of baseball during the Progressive Era.

search terms

These terms may be useful when searching for items related to this theme in the American Memory collections.

baseball baseball cards baseball managers
baseball players baseball teams baseball umpires
baseballs batting (baseball) home run
indoor baseball softball stadiums
World series enter a specific team name enter a specific player name

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Last updated 05/13/2008