Fall sports season is here

Fall sports season is underway! The Seahawks (football) kick off their season on Sept 12, the Mariners (baseball) are making a run for the playoffs, with the OL Reign (women’s soccer) likely headed to playoffs and the Sounders (men’s soccer) making a last push for a playoff spot. If all the excitement has you wanting more, delve into one of these books on the history, personalities, and art of sports.

The Forgotten First: Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley, Bill Willis, and the Breaking of the NFL Color Barrier by Keyshawn Johnson and Bob Glauber
A year before Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke the color barrier in baseball, UCLA running back Kenny Washington signed with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, breaking the color barrier in professional football. The Forgotten First chronicles the life of Washington and the other three first Black players in the NFL in 1946 (two at the LA Rams, two at the Cleveland Browns), their accomplishments, the racism they faced, and the paths they paved for the players who came after them.

The Art of Football: The Early Game in the Golden Age of Illustration by Michael Oriard
As the new game of American football began and grew in popularity from 1880-1920, artists and illustrators tackled the challenge of visually interpreting the game for readers of magazines and newspapers. What elements of the game should be highlighted and how should they be presented, for a public new to the game and its rules and rhythms? Oriard, a former lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs and now a professor of literature at Oregon State University, examines 200+ images by a range of artists in a variety of mediums.

K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner
New York Times sportswriter Kepner delves into the history of baseball via the craft of pitching. Taking aim at ten major pitches (such as the fastball, the curveball, the spitball), Kepner examines each pitch’s innovation, evolution and history, including shifts in style and tactics across generations of players. Woven into this analysis are interviews with pitchers and pitching coaches.

Pitchers of Beer: The Story of the Seattle Rainiers by Dan Raley
In this snapshot of a moment in Seattle’s baseball history, former Seattle Post-Intelligencer sports writer Raley tells the story of the Seattle Rainiers. Taking over the struggling minor-league baseball team in 1937, local beer baron Emil Sick built a new stadium, renamed the team after his Rainier beer, and set them on the path to winning five Pacific Coast League titles. Including history, team lore, and tales of mischief, Raley recounts the team’s 27-year-history spanning the Great Depression, World War II, and more.

One Life by Megan Rapinoe
US soccer star Rapinoe (who plays for OL Reign), recounts her extraordinary career, including an Olympic gold medal and two World Cup wins with the USA Women’s National Soccer team. Equally importantly, Rapinoe relates her call to activism, from publicly coming out as gay and addressing marriage equality in 2011, to taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in solidarity with Colin Kapernick in 2016, to her ongoing work organizing for pay equity for female athletes.

~ posted by Andrea G.

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