In the mid 1800s the sport of baseball was working its way across the United States. Amateur teams were springing up and in 1858 the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed. Young men were eager to show their prowess on the field and in the batter’s box.
Lipman Pike’s father, a Dutch immigrant, runs a small haberdashery in Brooklyn, New York, though Lip is more interested in watching the ball players than working behind the counter. His mother doesn’t approve— Jewish boys should be paying attention to more sensible matters.
But when Lip is barely a teenager, he’s invited to join a local club. When he hits his first pitch over the right fielder’s head, Lip knows baseball is the sport for him.
Award-winning author Richard Michelson chronicles the meteoric rise of one of baseball’s earliest (and unsung) champions.
For more about Lipman Pike I recommend:
- Robert Schaefer’s SABR Biography
- Michael Freund’s article Time to honor America’s first Jewish home-run king
- Joey Seymour’s article “Why Isn’t Lipman Pike in the Baseball Hall of Fame?”
- Robert Bloomberg’s article Lipman Pike: A truly historic figure for the game of baseball
Too Jewish interview with Richard Michelson:
- National Jewish Book Award Finalist
- New York Times Editor’s Choice 2011
- The Jerusalem Post wants Lip in the Basball Hall of Fame
- WAMC Interview – Richard talks to Joe Donahue about his book, Lipman Pike.
- Bergino Baseball Clubhouse Podcast with Richard Michelson.
- Author Richard Michelson brings baseball hero to life – Masslive.com
- The Bookshelf Podcast: Richard Michelson – Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf
- Q & A with… Rich Michelson at the Jewish Ledger
- Tablet Magazine: On the Bookshelf
- Feathered Quill Book Reviews
- NJJN Life & Times: New titles look at Jewish heroes of the national pastime
- A Jewish Lip: New Book on Lipman Pike Explores Baseball Player’s Career, Religious Identity
Michelson and Pullen recreate a slice of immigrant life in mid–19th-century Brooklyn in their story of Jewish baseball player Lipman Pike, one of the first “professional” athletes…Readers should gain a vivid picture of Pike and the fledging days of baseball.
Lipman Pike played “Base” every chance he could get in his Brooklyn neighborhood. …He often faced anti-Semitism and distrust, but he won over his teammates and the “cranks” with his outstanding play. … Michelson adeptly employs fictional conversations interwoven with factual details as he reconstructs a long-forgotten time, managing to bring Pike’s story out of obscurity and relate it to modern young readers. …An insight into baseball and America that is at once historical and timeless. (full review)
Michelson and Pullen offer a fast-paced introduction to a pioneering ballplayer and a rollicking glimpse of baseball’s early years…. Young fans will enjoy this vivid glimpse into baseball’s early years, and the story of an unsung hero of that era.
—School Library Journal
“LIPMAN PIKE: America’s First Home Run King is a must have book for children ages 6-10 who love the national sport − the story is full of vigor, tradition, and courage.”
—The Children’s Bookshelf