I Am A Baseball Player: A True Story About Baseball’s Youngest Pro, celebrates the early years of the late Marvin Daniel Price, an unsung sports hero and America’s youngest professional baseball player, who signed-on with the Chicago American Giants of the Negro American League at the tender age of 13, barnstorming in the South for one week, while maintaining his status as captain of his Englewood High School baseball team.
This beautifully written and warmly illustrated picture book will appeal to the young, the young-at-heart, and those who love baseball, as Price did. The story captures the energy and the indomitable spirit of a young boy from the South Side of Chicago in the 1940s who lives up to the daily mantra of his youth: “I Am A Baseball Player.”
Unlike most picture books on the subject of baseball before Jackie Robinson’s breakthrough, the setting in I Am A Baseball Player has a contemporary ambiance, highlighting the love that an exceptional young athlete has for his favorite pastime, providing a springboard for discussion about Major League Baseball and the Negro Leagues and about the history of race and baseball in the USA. I Am A Baseball Player offers a subtle portrayal of important significance for African Americans, Latinos, young baseball enthusiasts and all-stars in the making.
Author/baseball historian Brent Kelley recognized Price’s place in baseball history when he published The Negro Leagues Revisited. “Although there will always be some debate over who was the youngest to play in the major leagues, if you consider all leagues that were ‘major’ the answer is Marvin Daniel Price,” says Kelley on a concluding page in I Am A Baseball Player.
Appended with photos at three stages in the life of Marvin Daniel Price with illustrations throughout to accompany short rhyming verses, this previously untold story is an inspiration and a gift to anyone with a desire to make an impossible dream, possible.
I Am A Baseball Player is available at Amazon and wherever online books are sold.
Maria E. Stimpson, Ph.D., is an educational psychologist, university instructor of psychology, published journalist and award-winning writer. She honed her writing skills in the sports department at FOX 32 Chicago, and with WGN Radio, WLIT-FM and WLUW-FM.
Gloria Price Stimpson, M.A., is the sister of Marvin Daniel Price, a retired Chicago Public Schools classroom teacher, children’s teacher-librarian, educational consultant and mentor. She has regaled students, teachers and administrative faculty with read-a-louds and book presentations throughout Chicago.