Full Count: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Baseball

Full CountCindy: I think I am a Top 10 Fan of  Sports Illustrated Kids books. You may remember a previous post we did for the book All Access and if not, check out that one too. This book, Full Count: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Baseball (Time Home Entertainment 2012) focuses specifically on baseball and will be a popular book to add to that well worn 796.357 section (for those of you who still use Dewey).

The fun starts as kids get their hands on the large cover with raised stitches on the baseball and continues inside to vibrant page layouts and action packed photography that illustrate each top ten category. Some of the categories are expected, Like Top 10 “leadoff hitters,” “unbreakable records,” or “legendary home runs.” Others will inspire debate among avid fans: Top 10 “World Series moments,” “rivalries,” or “baseball movies.” Field of Dreams and A League of Their Own, of course. But The Sandlot? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Some of the Top 10 lists are only for the truly fanatic. Top 10 Facial Hair? And yet that double page spread is fun to read and full of interesting information about the rather strange looking facial hair choices. #8 is Bobby Jenks who on Mother’s Day 2008 dyed his blond goatee pink to support breast cancer awareness. It looks like he is sporting cotton candy on his chin. But, good for him.

Of course there is a spread of Top 10 Scandals…must we Chicago White Sox fans be forever reminded of the Black Sox Scandal? It ranks #1 with #2 Steroid Era and #3 Pete Rose’s gambling leading off. You’ll have to grab the book to discover the rest.

And when you do you’ll also find Top 10 nicknames, managers, minor league team names (the Savannah Sand Gnats????), announcers, oddest deliveries, most intimidating, ballparks, and ugly uniforms.

And, no top ten of baseball is complete without a list of Top 10 Yogi-isms. Yogi Berra…kids today need to know Yogi Berra.

“I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.”

“It’s tough to make predictions — especially about the future.”

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”

Coming in October 2013 is The Top 10 of Everything in Sports. I’ll be watching for that too. Meanwhile, it’s still not baseball season at my house. The Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup finals this week against the Boston Bruins. Go Hawks!!!

This is the perfect summer fun reading book, but there are plenty of ways to teach with it in the fall as the World Series approaches.

Common Core Connections:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.4 Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.5 Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.

After reading a few of the Top Ten lists in this book aloud to students, have them create their own Top 10 list on a subject of their choice, sports being only one option. Have students research facts to support each item on their lists and then gather illustrations or photographs to add to their writing. Have them use computers to design a document with an introduction to the list top, ten short paragraphs to support the choices integrated with the illustrations. Have students share their lists in a multimedia presentation.

nonfiction_monday Nonfiction Monday is available at Practically Paradise today. Visit and learn about other excellent nonfiction titles for children and teens.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees.

3 Comments on "Full Count: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Baseball"

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  1. Count me in your list of Top Ten. I’m avidly waiting for the Top Ten list of Hockey. Go Blackhawks!

  2. elibenoli5@gmail.com' Tara says:

    Oh, I must have this book…for my classroom and for me!!

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