Just as baseball is at the heart of America, so too is Route 66. This book is a photographic tribute to the national pastime along the artery that stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan, close to where the Cubs play, to the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica, where baseball memories and players abound. Among the players who will guide readers on the journey will be baseball greats George Brett, Billy Hatcher, Alex Bregman, and Ryan Howard. Leading off will be Johnny Bench of Binger, Oklahoma, and cleaning up will be Jim Thome of Peoria, Illinois.

In Grassroots Baseball: Route 66, photographer Jean Fruth weaves more than 250 full-color images of the national pastime along the historic highway into a tapestry that reminds us of the heart and soul of America.

Route 66 passes through eight states in its journey to the Pacific, and each chapter opens with a first-person essay by a baseball legend from that locale recounting his early memories of playing the game, and what it was like growing up along the Mother Road. That highway took stars like George Brett, Billy Hatcher, Alex Bregman, Adam LaRoche, and Ryan Howard to faraway places they only dreamed about as kids.

Each chapter documents the route they took, from sandlots, ranches, and beaches to ballparks at every level of organized baseball, from Little League games to the World Series. With an introduction by Johnny Bench, a foreword by Mike Veeck, a preface by retired Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, and an afterword by Jim Thome, this book touches all the bases for any and every baseball fan.

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