Baseball is a uniquely American sport. Historians found references to sports similar to baseball in 18th century America. The earliest versions show similarities to cricket and rounders. In 1845 the familiar diamond-shaped infield, foul lines, and three-strike rule were established and the first organized game occurred in 1846. One hundred and seventy years later, half of Americans consider themselves baseball fans. Thanks to baseball’s long season and number of games in a season, more people attend baseball games in a given year than football games. While I’m not an avid baseball fan I’ve always enjoyed attending baseball games for the social aspect, outdoor sunning, and stadium food. Whether or not you’re able to attend a live game, we’ve compiled the best of baseball inspired books, movies, and recipes for you and the family to enjoy!

Books About Baseball

Baseball Books

Curious George at the Baseball Game – Join the mischievous monkey for an exciting day at the ballpark. Night at the Stadium – This tale of a boy who accidentally gets separated from his family at Yankee Stadium is a bit Night at the Museum meets Field of Dreams. Biggie – This newly-released teen novel tells the trials of an ordinary boy who is the son of a baseball legend father. The Berenstain Bears Go Out for the Team – Young readers will be able to relate to this tale of Brother and Sister bear as they learn about participating in a team sport. I am Jackie Robinson – This book is part of a series known as “Ordinary People Change the World” designed to introduce the youngest of readers to important historical figures. Jackie Robinson was an important early figure in the civil rights movement by becoming the first African American player to play in the all-white major leagues. There are plenty of book titles for all reading levels about Jackie Robinson. The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game – William Hoy is credited for being the reason baseball umpires and coaches now use hand signals. This biography perfectly illustrates the rewards of overcoming adversity.

Movies about Baseball

Baseball movies

The Sandlot – You might remember this classic from your childhood. This is a movie that can be enjoyed by parents and children alike! The Perfect Game – This movie is based on the true story of a Monterey, Mexico Little League team in the 1950s. The Pride of the Yankees – If you have a tween or teen child who appreciates classic films, this is a must-see, moving baseball film about Lou Gehrig. Million Dollar Arm – A sports agent from the U.S. travels to India to recruit the next great baseball pitcher from a pool of talented cricket players and learns life lessons along the way. Rookie of the Year – Can a talented 12 year old boy bring the Chicago Cubs  a World Series win? Watch and find out! Little Big League – A young boy becomes the unlikely manager of the Minnesota Twins who reminds the players of the joys of playing America’s favorite pastime. 

Recipes That Remind You of the Ballyard

Stadium food

There are foods that I only eat when at ballparks so the scent of a hot dog steaming or freshly popped popcorn immediately transport me to the diamond. Here are some trusted recipes for recreating those treats at home. Soft Pretzels – Feel free to dip these pillowy pretzels into melted cheese. Corndogs – Food on a stick is always a  treat for small hands. These corndogs are surprising easy to make! Perfect Popcorn – Skip the mysterious microwave popcorn and cook it on the stove. Cheese Nachos – The topping options for nachos are endless, but most kids I know are happy with the traditional cheese topping. Dippin Dots – Unless you are willing to experiment with liquid nitrogen, this healthy yogurt-based recipe is the closest you’ll find to the ubiquitous space ice cream. San Francisco Garlic Fries – The San Francisco Giant’s stadium features some of the best food in baseball. The smell of their delicious garlic fries permeates the seats. If the kids are adverse to garlic, keep it on the side. 

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