Lizs Book Snuggery

“Betsy’s Day at the Game” by Greg Bancroft; illustrated by Katherine Blackmore. It’s the Quintessential All-American Pastime…and Here Is a Book To Help Young Girls Enjoy and Understand the Sport as American as Apple Pie!

Meet Elizabeth, aka Betsy, whose Grandpa is taking her to a baseball game in “Betsy’s Day at the Game” by Greg Bancroft, with illustrations by Katherine Blackmore.

And she is prepared to enjoy the adventure with her glove, score book, pencil and hat. So let’s face it. Betsy is not a complete neophyte to the all-American game. Let the fun commence:


There were people and noise all around. They were in the middle of a very busy part of the city. The ballpark added to the commotion. Betsy walked close to Grandpa and held his hand tightly. ….She wasn’t scared, just overwhelmed. There were vendors and souvenirs, loud music, smoky grills, and legs. Legs everywhere. It was difficult to see very far ahead. 


In the middle of the crowded city, the brick walls opened up to reveal a beautiful baseball diamond. Like a pop-up book. It was magic. They had great seats. Betsy could see every part of the field perfectly:


Betsy asks her Grandpa what he likes the most? He took a deep breath. “I like the smell of the grass. Betsy took a deep breath. “Me too.” “Actually,” Grandpa said as he leaned into her, kissing the top of her head, “I like it all…and I especially like it when I’m with you, Boo,”


For scoring  purposes, Betsy learns that each player has a number and his number is on his shirt, but when scoring, a number stands for the same thing as the position that he plays. For instance, the pitcher is one, the catcher is two, first base is three, second base is four, third base is five, short stop is six and the outfield, going left, center, right, is seven, eight and nine. Hey, I didn’t know that.


They list in the scorebook the player’s name, jersey number and position:

“Grandpa, you’re so smart,” Betsy said fondly as she patted his hand. He seemed to be blinking hard as he smiled, holding back a tear. But he does that a lot, she reminded herself: at family gatherings, when he tells stories about being in the Navy, and at baseball games. And sure enough, he seemed to be blinking hard as they sat back down after singing the National Anthem.


I love this book and I think your young reader will as well.

In my family growing up, my brother Walt, has been scoring baseball games since his teens from radio broadcasts first, then from TV, but also from live games! And, to add to the allure of his plethora of score books, he asks the players at the games he attends for their autographs, either before or after the game. AND, he hand draws the teams’ symbols on the page, filling it in with colored pencil. Impressive!

This is serious stuff, readers. And if he allows you to touch the books of years past, it’s like leafing through The Pentateuch!

IF, you are patient and lucky enough to sit through an entire game with him, he allows you to autograph and date the event in his score book. But, ONLY if you sit through an entire game. Tough to do at times, dear reader.

I have done this a time or two, as well as my husband. We are two of the chosen few!

My brother is a baseball FANATIC. He loves the game; even had a chair from the original Yankee Stadium, until his son co-opted it. Possession, they say is nine tenths of the law!

And Betsy is learning and sharing a whole lot too. She is learning way more than the intricacies of baseball scoring. She is learning about her Grandpa in a way that children can only know through spending time and sharing experiences with older family members.

The Crusher, known as Matt Brown, is up to bat and hits the ball “high in the  sky, but way back.”

And guess who reaches out her glove and catches the foul ball, sticking it right in the center of the glove?

Why, Betsy of course! Doesn’t every kid dream of this opportunity at a big league ball park?

Your young reader will travel inning by inning with Betsy and Grandpa, but I won’t tell you the outcome. You’ll have to read that for yourself, but “Betsy’s Day at the Game” by Greg Bancroft with illustrations by Katherine Blackmore, will leave your young reader eager to know more about the game, but equally convinced that both Grandpa and Betsy come out winners in the game of life!

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