Illustrated by Jennifer Bower
A picture-book biography about Max Patkin, a professional ballplayer turned legendary baseball clown.
Max Patkin was pitching in the minor leagues when he was injured and had to leave his dreams behind. He joined the Navy and was able to play again while in the military...and this time he got to pitch against superstar Joe DiMaggio. What happened after Joe hit one of Max's pitches out of the park led to the birth of a baseball clown.
The Funniest Man in Baseball carries an important message: Life doesn't always turn out exactly as you hope, but moving in a new direction can sometimes bring happy...and hilarious...surprises.
"Vernick has hit another home run with this enjoyable account of baseball clown Max Patkin. Vernick's delightful prose combines with Bower's cartoon illustrations to ensure an engaging read--the opening sentence alone will hook kids. ('Did you hear the one about the pitcher who walked into a ballpark?')" --School Library Journal
"Vernick's concise, informative book tells Patkin's story with wit while communicating his love of the game, the spirit of his act, and his pleasure in performing. An unusual sports biography." --Booklist
"Vernick displays warm affection for Patkin, describing his antics in amusing anecdotes that are followed by quoting his signature line, “True Story!” Bower’s colorful cartoons manage to capture the essence of Max’s goofy appearance and all-out efforts to elicit every bit of fun he could invent in the game he loved so much. It was a different time. A loving homage to the last baseball clown."--Kirkus