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Steven Krasner (1953-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

baseball pros ball play

Born 1953, in Providence, RI; Education: Columbia University, B.A., 1975.

Addresses

Office—Providence Journal, 75 Fountain St., Providence, RI 02902.

Career

Journalist and author. Providence Journal, Providence RI, sports writer, 1975—. Education consultant and developer of cross-curriculum writing program. Member, Baseball Hall of Fame education advisory council.

Member

International Reading Association, Rhode Island Association for Supervision of Curriculum Development.

Honors Awards

Parent's Choice Silver Award, 2002, for Play Ball like the Pros.

Writings

Why Not Call It Cow Juice?, Gorilla Productions, 1994.

The Longest Game, Gorilla Productions, 1996.

Have a Nice Nap, Humphrey, Gorilla Productions, 1998.

Pedro Martinez, Chelsea House (Langhome, PA), 2002.

Play Ball like the Pros: Tips for Kids from Twenty Big-League Stars, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2002.

Work in Progress

Nudging the Imagination.

Sidelights

Steven Krasner, author of the children's books The Longest Game and Have a Nice Nap, Humphrey, offers young sports fans the chance to benefit from the advice of some of baseball's biggest stars in Play Ball like the Pros: Tips for Kids from Twenty Big-League Stars. Each chapter in the book focuses on a different position or Steve Krasner skill, Krasner not only helps educate readers on the position and terms associated with the sport, but also provides interviews with major baseball stars such as Derek Jeter, Pedro Martinez, and Wade Boggs. Praising the volume in Booklist, Todd Morning described Play Ball like the Pros "the sort of finely tuned analysis of baseball that many young players are looking for," while in School Library Journal Michael McCullough dubbed it "excellent."

Krasner told Something about the Author: "Sports, reading and writing have always been important to me. And fortunately for me, I have been able to combine these three passions as a sports writer (I have covered the Boston Red Sox for the Providence Journal (RI) newspaper since 1986), a children's book author and as an education consultant, visiting classrooms and presenting at conferences an interactive K-12 writing-across-the-curriculum program I call 'Nudging the Imagination.'

"Of the five book I have had published, baseball is the subject matter in three of them. That's not surprising, given the fact I grew up reading Matt Christopher sports books and played baseball through college and beyond in amateur leagues, finally retiring at the age of forty-nine.

"The Play Ball like the Pros book had its seeds in a twenty-six-week series I wrote for the newspaper, featuring a Major Leaguer talking about a particular baseball skill each week. That series grew out of my desire to help teach the game to my son, Jeffrey, and his friend when they were thirteen. Jeff was a very good player. His teams won three straight Little League state championships while I served as an assistant coach.

"The feedback I received from the series led me to entertain thoughts about turning it into a book, a concept Peachtree made into a reality. One of the major points I wanted to make with the book was to show youngsters who are 8-12 years old now that they are no different than the Major League stars when they were the same age. And baseball should be fun, a concept that sometimes gets ignored by coaches and parents at that age level. The Major Leaguers reinforced that theme while offering basic tips for the young players and their coaches.

"While I agree with the notion that 'baseball is life,' and that playing baseball should be fun, I also believe writing can be fun for both students and teachers. That's the theme I try to get across in my 'Nudging the Imagination' classroom and conference workshops, showing students that there's a forum for their imaginations while suggesting ways in which teachers can easily tie in writing exercises to the educational standards.

"Mechanics are only part of the writing process, but too often they become an impediment in developing independent and enthusiastic writers. We need to show students that it's okay to let their imaginations fly at times. Worry about the commas and the gerund phrases later, in the final product.

"My own kids—who are featured in my first book, Why Not Call It Cow Juice?, about figurative and literal language—were the guinea pigs for my writing program. I volunteered in their respective classrooms to try out workshops in story writing, mystery writing, the generation of mystery-dinner-theatre scripts and video magazines, tall tales and myths. Eventually, largely through word of mouth and presentations at state and regional conferences, the program has taken me to such states as New Mexico, California, and New York. Along the way I have been named to the education advisory council at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2002, Todd Morning, review of Play Ball like the Pros: Tips for Kids from Twenty Big-League Stars, p. 1517.

Publishers Weekly, April 1, 2002, review of Play Ball like the Pros, p. 86.

School Library Journal, June, 2002, Michael McCullough, review of Play Ball like the Pros, p. 164.

ONLINE

Peachtree Publishers Web site, http://www.peachtreeonline.com/ (June 1, 2004), "Steve Krasner Talks about Baseball."*

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