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Athletes

Something about the struggle involved in athletic competition is universally appealing. Football players aren't just running after a ball, they're at war; a good baseball game is as much like chess as it is a physical contest; watching basketball or soccer is like watching thoroughbreds do what they were born to do.

Athletic pursuits used to be part of every young scholar's curriculum. The idea that the mind, body and spirit were somehow divisible would have baffled an ancient Greek or Medieval German, and so each was looked to in the formation of the individual. Today, with our universal Cartesian dualist malaise in which video games are considered sports, the interest in physicality has waned.

Even sports fans are often separated from the reality of their diversion. They watch it on the TV, but they can't throw a ball, or block a haymaker, or put their opponent in a full nelson, or ski. To the modern sports enthusiast (as to the ancient enthusiasts in Rome), sports are simply a way to pass the time, to find one's identity ("I'm a Green Bay fan!"), or an excuse to drink beer and eat potato chips.

There are still real athletes, but these, too, are becoming more difficult to find. The equation of athlete and celebrity means that many QBs or power forwards are in it for the fame, the glory, the women, the money. Back in the old days, even pro baseball players often had real jobs they pursued when they weren't on the field; now, the field is their career.

Athletes who truly love their game, who evidence moral character on and off the court or field or track, and who do their best even when they're feeling their worst are the kind worthy of our admiration. We've limited our collection of athlete bios to these types, or to those men and women who've set milestones in their given sport or the culture at large. Don't just read about Eric Liddell and Jim Thorpe, though—let them inspire you to do better yourself.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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21 Items found Print
Babe Ruth, Home Run Hero
by Keith Brandt
from Troll Communications
for 2nd-5th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Babe Ruth: One of Baseball's Greatest
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Guernsey Van Riper
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$7.99 $4.00 (1 in stock)
Billy Sunday
Sowers Series
by Robert Allen
from Mott Media
Biography for 4th-6th grade
in Sowers Biographies (Location: A12-07F)
$7.64 $5.00 (2 in stock)
Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James Brown
Reprint from Penguin Putnam
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$14.45
Come On, Seabiscuit!
by Ralph Moody
from University of Nebraska
Biography for 5th-9th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$14.95
Eric Liddell
Christian Heroes: Then & Now
by Geoff & Janet Benge
from YWAM Publishing
Biography for 4th-7th grade
in Christian Heroes: Then and Now (Location: A12-06E)
$8.50 $6.50 (4 in stock)
Eric Liddell
Men of Faith
by Catherine Swift
from Bethany House
Biography for 6th-12th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$4.50 (3 in stock)
Eric Liddell: Running for a Higher Prize
Heroes for Young Readers
by Renee Taft Meloche & Bryan Pollard
illustrated edition from YWAM Publishing
Picture Book Biography for 1st-3rd grade
in Heroes for Young Readers (Location: A12-06D)
Famous Athletes
by Michael E. Goodman
from KidsBooks, Inc.
for 2nd-4th grade
in Sports (Location: CGA-08E)
$2.50 (2 in stock)
Flying Scotsman
by Sally Magnusson
1st edition from Quartet Books
for 10th-Adult
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Jackie Robinson: Young Sports Trailblazer
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Herb Dunn
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$7.99
Jesse Owens
by Francece Sabin
from Troll Publishing
Owens, Jesse for 4th-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Jesse Owens: Young Record Breaker
Childhood of Famous Americans
by M. M. Eboch
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$6.99
Jim Thorpe: Olympic Champion
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Guernsey Van Riper
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$9.99
Joe Dimaggio: Young Sports Hero
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Herb Dunn
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$6.99
Lives of the Athletes
by Kathleen Krull
from Harcourt
Biography for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Geography (Location: BLG-07D)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Lou Gehrig: One of Baseball's Greatest
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Guernsey Van Riper
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$6.99 $4.00 (1 in stock)
Roberto Clemente: Young Ball Player
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Montrew Dunham
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$6.99
Story of Baseball - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by E. Lisle Reedstrom
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: A01-DOV)
$4.99
Willie Mays
History Makers
by Louis Sabin
from Troll Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Wilma Rudolph: Olympic Runner
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Jo Harper
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$5.99 $4.00 (1 in stock)