When I was in the second grade, maybe 8 years old, that beautiful age when you finally start to formulate your own thoughts, my grade-school class would spend two days a week at a period entitled, simply, “Library.”
You probably had something similar. Most kids did. At Nall Hills Elementary, we spent those Library periods learning about the Dewey Decimal system, how to navigate the card catalogue (what an effing waste of time) and checking out books (think Goosebumps, the Berenstain Bears chapter books or the Illustrated Classics… Three Musketeers!!!).
For me, though, I spent nearly every minute of Library class in the sports section: One wall dedicated just to sports titles. For an 8-year-old kid, this was about the coolest thing in the world. I remember checking out a 200-page, hardbound book about the history of basketball. It was old and faded, big and yellow… and it told me that John Wooden was nicknamed the Indiana Rubberman when he was schoolboy legend in the Hoosier State. I can remember checking out a book called “Baseball’s Greatest Games” — a perfect little introduction to men like Kirk Gibson and Carlton Fisk and Harvey Haddix. And here’s the coolest part: I can remember that our little elementary school library had a series of books chronicling the history of every single MLB and NFL franchise.