Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball

On any given spring evening, 360,000 children around the world can be found on the dusty mounds and grassy fields of a Little League field. With more than four million people playing or volunteering in Little League games every year, Little League is the institutional rite of passage into the quintessential American pastime.

Play Ball! charts Little League’s history from the earliest days and shows how, in many respects, its history parallels America’s history: isolation in the beginning; rapid expansion; a civil war of sorts, followed by reconstruction; struggles over civil rights and gender equity; and foreign entanglements. A microcosm of American society, Little League reflects and is affected by cultural, political, and historical trends.

The authors were given full access to the Little League Baseball archives and have created a comprehensive history. Play Ball! contains appendixes including winners of all Little League Baseball and Softball World Series, a year-by-year history of Little League, countries in Little League, and lists of some of the famous people who played the game as children, including Kevin Costner, Mark McGwire, and George W. Bush. Includes a new chapter on John Grisham’s movie, “Mickey,” the Danny Almonte scandal, Tee Ball on the South Lawn, Pitch Counts and Arm Injuries, Child Protection Act, ESPN and the new World of Little League Museum. Play Ball! will interest parents, former players and coaches, fans of Little League Baseball, general baseball enthusiasts, and anyone who has ever picked up a ball and bat.


Lance and Robin Van Auken

SKU: 978-09986811-9-1 Categories: ,



From Library Journal

Do you know that George W. was a Little Leaguer? More to the point, humorist Dave Barry is also a graduate of Little League, and he writes an amusing introduction to a solid book about this American institution. Little League has now been around for more than half a century, and this new history fills a gap in library collections that often focus solely on major league baseball history. This well-illustrated, popularly written account should be on the shelves of every library that serves a community with a Little League team.

Play Ball! is a delightful walk down the storied history of Little League Baseball. For those of us who played the dreams of your youth, it brings back mighty memories. For those of us reluctant adults who still dream, it’s a wonderful reminder of what might have been.” ~ John Grisham, bestselling author

Additional information


Lance and Robin Van Auken


Hardcover, Paperback






The Omnibus Publishing

Year Published



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