In Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin, photographer Jean Fruth features more than 250 of the best images from all levels of the amateur game in various US cities, as well as several hotbeds of baseball around the world. Each chapter opens with a portrait of a baseball legend and a first-person essay recounting his early memories of playing the game. Some of the stars highlighted in this full-color book include Whitey Ford, Vladimir Guerrero, Hank Aaron, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, and Ichiro Suzuki. The pages that follow in each chapter document the game from sandlots to big-time ballparks, and at every level of organized baseball, giving readers a window into how these legends' careers began. With an introduction by Cal Ripken, Jr., a foreword by Steve Wulf, and an afterword by Johnny Bench, this book makes the perfect gift for baseball fans of all teams.
Jean Fruth has been a photographer for nearly two decades and shooting baseball for the past 15 years. She covered the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s, before turning her attention to the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, where she helped to build the museum’s profile and photo archive. Today, Fruth is the traveling photographer for La Vida Baseball, a digital media company and Hall of Fame partner that tells the story of Latino baseball across the United States and Latin America. She is recognized by Sony as one of its 45 Sony Artisans of Imagery, world-wide.
Jeff Idelson has spent 33 years in baseball, including the last 25 with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and has served as president of the world-renowned Museum since 2008. Prior to his tenure with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Jeff served as director of media relations and publicity for the New York Yankees from 1989-1993. He began his professional career as an intern in the public relations department of the Boston Red Sox, continuing work in the team’s public relations department in 1987-88. Jeff cut his teeth as a center fielder in Newton Central Little League, retiring as a player at age 12, later becoming a vendor at Fenway Park.