One year for my birthday my mom bought me a book A Summer Up North by Jerry Poling. She knew I am obsessed with baseball and have a love affair with baseball of years past (before juicing and people being overly arrogant idiots).
The book tells the story of Hank Aaron’s first summer of minor league ball playing for the Eau Claire Bears (18 miles from my home town in a field where I have played one or two games as a kid). Jerry Poling tells the story much like most stories told by people from the Eau Claire area, meandering in and out of other similar stories. It provides a great history of not only Hank Aaron but also of other players that donned a uniform for the minor league Eau Claire team (Cubs/Bears/Braves) and other fun tidbits from the Northern League. You hear stories of Burleigh Grimes, Andy Pafko, Joe Torre, and many other greats who have passed through the midwest on their way to the majors. It is a good read and I learned a lot about baseball in an area I spent the first 27 years of my life, most of it unknown to me.
If you are looking for a great Father’s Day gift or a gift for a baseball fan, this is a win.