When someone asks about sports books for children, one name immediately springs to mind: Matt Christopher. Born on August 16, 1917, he began writing when he was 14 and won a prize in a short story contest at age 17. Author of more than 130 children’s books and 275 short stories for children, his books have been avidly read by generations of children. His first book for children, The Lucky Baseball Bat, was published in 1954 by Little, Brown and Co. He wrote children’s mysteries under the pseudonym Frederic Martin and books about animals, including Stranded and Desperate Search. His book Dirt Bike Racer was nominated for the Maud Hart Lovelace award in 1989.
In elementary school, Christopher played baseball, and played baseball, football, and soccer in high school. He continued to play baseball after graduation, playing for the Cayuga Rock Salt and Freeville-Dryden baseball teams. In 1938, he played Class C minor league baseball in Smiths-Falls, Ontario, a New York Yankee farm team. Later that year, after returning to continue playing baseball with Freeville-Dryden, he was awarded the MVP, most valuable player, of the team. Mr. Christopher died in 1997.