For the Love of the Buckeyes is a book for all ages. O-H! I-O!
Despite a less than stellar start to the season, we still love our Buckeyes.
Frederick C. Klein, a longtime sports columnist for The Wall Street Journal (1977-2001), has made a habit of checking out well-known sports teams in a series of picture books. Intended for adults as well as kids, For the Love of the Packers, For the Love of the Yankees, For the Love of the Red Sox and others deliver alphabet primers that spotlight some of the most renowned players and lore of famous teams.
For the Love of the Buckeyes (Triumph, $16.95, 48 pages) begins with a foreword by two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin and ends with paintings of mascot Brutus Buckeye and coach Woody Hayes framing a list of OSU football triumphs, including seven national championships and 31 Big Ten championships.
In between, Klein assigns memorable Buckeye players, moments or traditions to each letter of the alphabet. "B" is for Buckeye Grove, where since 1934, a tree has been planted for each player who achieves All-American status. "B" also stands for the 220-plus-member Buckeye Marching Band.
Each page includes a paragraph about the accomplishments of the subject and most have watercolor paintings (lots of scarlet and gray) by Mark Anderson, whose illustrations have been seen in Time Magazine, The New Yorker, National Geographic and more.
The illustrations are the best part of the book. Anderson's cartoon style captures action and maintains a sense of humor. Coach Jim Tressel is portrayed with his usual serious expression, arms uplifted, as he and his team participates in the O-H-I-O salute.