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Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Staff Review by Patricia Covley:
In Wait Till Next Year, Doris Kearns Goodwin reveals the profound impact baseball had upon her childhood and her becoming the adult she is today. Goodwin makes the 1950’s come alive with the names of Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella and others. Goodwin, definitely “Daddy’s little girl,” learned about the game of baseball at her father’s knee. At a young age, she was given a scorebook and was taught by her father the correct way to use it. She would sit by the radio for every game during the summer, carefully recording each at bat. In the evening, she would recount the game for her father, taking delight in retelling the daily minutia that makes baseball the game that many of us love. Goodwin looks back fondly at this exercise, wondering if it helped to cultivate her love of history and storytelling.
Discussions of baseball were not confined to Goodwin’s home. Growing up in suburban New York City, Goodwin enjoys a friendly (for the most part) rivalry with fans of the Yankees and the Giants. It was a time when neighbors knew each other and visits to the corner store were social events.
Goodwin eloquently discusses the Dodgers’ leaving Brooklyn in 1957. This traumatic occurrence was followed by the death of Goodwin’s infirm mother. The two events marked the end, she says, of her childhood. Goodwin stays away from baseball for a time, but eventually shares her love of baseball and the Boston Red Sox with her sons.
I recommend Wait Till Next Year not only to baseball fans, but to anyone who enjoys history or a good coming of age story.
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