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Mar '11 31

Josh Chetwynd’s new Book: The Secret History of Balls

Press Release Penguin Group

Balls are the unsung heroes of sports. Whether playing kickball at recess, golf at a business meeting, or shaking a Magic 8 ball at a sleepover, balls are constant companions that can be enjoyed in every environment.

In THE SECRET HISTORY OF BALLS: The Stories Behind the Things We Love to Catch, Whack, Throw, Kick, Bounce, and Bat (Perigee Trade Paperback; May 3, 2011; $13.95) author (and former professional baseball player) Josh Chetwynd offers insight into over 60 balls that are used around the world. Chetwynd shares the incredible stories, craftsmanship, and trial and error that went into molding these spheres of entertainment.

From basketball to paintball, bocce balls to the water polo, every orb of game or sport that is in use today is highlighted. Chetwynd provides lively stories about their origins, history, and unusual factoids, along with quirky illustrations, such as:

  • Size really mattered in the early days of Tennis. In one French town makers of tennis balls believed that the bigger the ball they made reflected on their religious piety.
  • At the start of the twentieth century marbles were considered an outlaw game by some in the US.
  • A fish eyeball was used as the center of some nineteenth century baseballs
  • The race to make better billiard balls led to the invention of plastics
  • The Nerf ball was originally created to be part of a board game featuring cavemen

The perfect little handbook for history and trivia lovers, and an opportunity for sports enthusiasts to impress their friends with unusual facts at their next sporting event, THE SECRET HISTORY OF BALLS is part nostalgia, part history lesson, and all fun.

Josh Chetwynd is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a staff reporter for USA Today and U.S. News & World Report. A former professional baseball player, he has also broadcasted major League Baseball games in Great Britain on BBC Radio.

The Stories Behind the Things We Love to Catch, Whack, Throw, Kick, Bounce, and Bat
by Josh Chetwynd
Perigee Trade Paperback
On-Sale: May 3, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-53674-8
Visit us on the web at www.penguin.com

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

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