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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Ducks On The Pond by R. Scott Murphy is a tribute to the sport of baseball. It seems that Americans of all ages love this sport. Murphy expresses his fascination with the sport through poetry, short story and essay. There is something special about the roar of the fans, the excitement that builds when the mascot plays the crowd and of course the moment you see the vendor yelling popcorn, peanuts, and candy. Murphy mentions his love of the Dodger Dog and insists they are a must for a ballgame.
Murphy includes The Home Run Alphabet. Most of the terms were not familiar to me in relationship with baseball. He speaks of playing Wiffle ball for hours at a time as a child. His poem The Lights of Balcones is a tribute to all the young players:
There are t-ballers, barely more than helmets on shoes,
All the way to seasoned teenagers hoping to soon be recruits;
Some may grow famous and even play for pay,
But some won’t catch and throw much longer than what we call today;
This book brought back memories of my father coaching little league. At that time it was a boy’s only sport. Dad only had girls and I think he enjoyed the interaction with males. Years later my sons played little league. My husband co-coached the team. The boys were excited and everyone wanted to be on the “winning team.” Often the parents took the game more seriously than the players. Baseball has been more than a hobby in our extended family. One of our nephews set his heart on playing major league. Two years ago he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers. My grandchildren are now the little league players. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to watch the little guys on the field trying to decide whether they would rather play in the dirt or watch the ball.
America has long had a love affair with baseball. Young players day dream of the major leagues. Murphy’s Ducks On The Pond is a well written book. The organization flows nicely. It is obvious that he dearly loves the game. He uses Mister Rogers’s style called, Mashup. He takes a little poetry, a little short story, a little essay and mashes it all up together into one entertaining book. He drops many names that the reader will recognize. He thanks all those who have inspired him.