Sporting Green // John Shea on Baseball

San Francisco Chronicle • May 4 2019

• More than 250 mesmerizing photographs are featured in a new book that focuses on amateur ballplayers around the globe. Jean Fruth, who has shot Giants and A’s games for years, traveled to the Caribbean, Japan, Mexico and throughout the U.S. to capture colorful images for Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin. Each chapter includes first-person accounts from former ballplayers, including Hank Aaron, Juan Marichal and Ichiro Suzuki, who share their childhood baseball memories. Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens tells his story in the Curacao chapter. Idelson is helping with the project, including organizing a Route 66 youth clinic tour that’s under way.

• In Randy Johnson’s first-person writing for the book, he recalls attending Little League Day at the Coliseum in 1975. Vida Blue pitched that day, a lefty whom Johnson emulated while growing up in Livermore. Johnson wrote that one of his best major-league moments came the day he was warming up in the bullpen at the Coliseum, saw a bunch of kids parade around the field and realized it was Little League Day, again. “It had come full circle for me,” he wrote.

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John Shea is The San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer.
Email: Twitter: @JohnSheaHey