Monday, May 13, 2019

Book Review: Billy Sunday, Baseball Preacher

Billy Sunday, Baseball Preacher. Fern Neal Stocker. 1985. Moody. 143 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: "Ma, I want to go swimming!" said Willie one hot June day in 1873.

Premise/plot: This is a children's biography of Billy Sunday a baseball player turned evangelist. It reads almost as a novel--for better or worse. On the one hand, it's the size of a paperback novel, the chapters read quickly, and include plenty of dialogue. On the other hand, it does not include photographs, source notes, or a bibliography.

My thoughts: I found this one to be a quick and interesting read. Billy Sunday's life was not easy. His mother struggled to raise him and his brother after her husband's death. When she remarried her new husband did NOT want the children from her first marriage around. The boys were sent to their grandparents. When their grandmother died, it was decided that the boys must go to an orphanage. Their new mother had a baby and her new husband had abandoned her. At one point, the grandfather sent for one boy but not the other. Both came. But Billy knew he wasn't wanted. It became evident that he'd need to be independent and hardworking if he wanted anything out of life. He excelled at baseball...and that was his salvation, in a way. People were more willing to have him around and give him jobs after they saw him play. The book also focuses on his testimony: how he came to Christ and how he eventually decided to dedicate his life to the Lord as an evangelist.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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