Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sports and Recreation - An Overview

Books on Sports and Recreation are assigned the Dewey Decimal numbers 793 to 799. Here is a summary of the classification of these subjects:

793 - Indoor Games and Amusements (including social dance and entertaining)
794 - Indoor Games of Skill (billiards, board games)
795 - Games of Chance (casinos, cards, lottery, backgammon, pinball, bingo, mahjong)
796- Athletic and Outdoor Sports and Games (competitive sports and outdoor recreation)
797 - Aquatic and Air Sports (swimming, sailing, ballooning, hang gliding)
798 - Equestrian Sports and Animal Racing (think running horses )
799 - Fishing, Hunting, Shooting

There has long been popular interest in books on all forms of recreation, books written for the competitor, the coach and the fan.

For the armchair reader there are classic works by authors like David Halberstam and John Feinstein. Boxing is a subject that has produced classic writing by authors like A. J. Liebling and Joyce Carol Oates.

We have a continuous demand for chess books -- there are classics in this subject that always go out and that our neighborhood players consult as references. Our gambling collection also circulates well. There are many books written to help the gambler develop a winning edge.

We have books on every manner of martial art, a subject that also proves very popular in San Francisco. Running books are very popular in our community as are books on hiking, cycling and camping. (Some hiking books are classified as travel books instead of recreation).

The vicissitudes of the Dewey Decimal system and our Library’s cataloging methods cause some related books to be found in other Main Library departments. All sports biography since 1995 has been classed in the general biography (“B”) section. Running and swimming are usually our subject, but some books in this subject also are assigned to the physical fitness area (Dewey number 613.7). Similarly other forms of exercise and fitness like yoga, calisthenics, stretching, pilates, chigong, aerobics and strength training find their way into that section.

The subjects of competitive and team sports are also known for their histories of players and franchises, and especially for the mountains of statistics that document these histories and invite comparisons across seasons and eras. Library patrons used to rely very heavily upon their public library for very heavy reference encyclopedias to supply them with their statistical fix. Annual directories from the Sporting News used to be essential resources to stay up to date.

Today there are more historical and current sport statistics than the sports fan of 20 years ago could have ever imagined. The quantity of depth of statistics have also increased vastly. Websites for the individual sports leagues, for the sports media, as well as the wiki-like Sports Reference network provide up-to-date scores, standings and statistics.

Our department’s Delicious Reference page provides links to a number of these statistical websites.

The 1910 San Francisco Seals from the Reach Official American League Base Ball Guide - source: Google Books

Trivia questions:

Who had the first at bat in San Francisco Giants history - what did he do?

Who had the first hit as a San Francisco Giant?

1 comment:

San Francisco Public Library, Art, Music and Recreation Center said...

Here is the answer to the trivia question - Third baseman Jim Davenport had the first at bat as a San Francisco Giant, and he struck out. This answer is found at

From the top slate-colored header on that page select the link for "teams." On this page scroll down to #24 - "San Francisco Giants" and follow that link.

Here you should scroll down the page to the 1958 season and follow the link for that year. On the page for this season look to the right of "80-74, Finished 3rd in National League" for the link to "Schedule and Results." From here scroll to the first game and follow the link for the box score on Tuesday, April 15, 1958. This page gives the full box score for that game followed by a detailed play-by-play.

From here you can see the Davenport struck out to Don Drysdale. On a happier note, you can also learn on this page that Davenport knocked in the Giants first run in his second at bat in the bottom of the third inning. He was preceded by pitcher Ruben Gomez who collected the first hit in San Francisco Giants history.