ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A book that features the state’s unique Pueblo baseball history has hit the shelves.
The book is called “New Mexico’s Pueblo Baseball League.” It tells the history and living legacy of how people play the sport on reservations.
“It’s grass roots, family oriented teams,” said Co-Author of the book, Herb Howell.
“It’s such a community based form of entertainment,” said James Abeita.
Abeita played for the Isleta Pueblo baseball team for decades.
“I don’t ever remember seeing a bat that wasn’t taped because it was a used bat. New balls were a luxury,” said Abeita.
Baseball is more than a hobby to people like Abeita; it’s a longstanding tribal tradition. That’s why James Baker and Herb Howell decided to write a book about it.
“They play with a lot of intensity. They play with a lot of skill. They play with an incredible love of the game and if you put all three of those things together that’s what makes pueblo baseball stand out,” said Co-Author, James Baker.
On Saturday, the authors held a book signing of the book. The book has dozens of never before seen pictures dating back to the early 1900’s and stories that have been passed on from one generation to the next like how fans circle their cars around the field to watch their family members play.
Abeita says the book is a reminder of his culture’s rich history and his village’s love for the game.
“I’m extremely excited to know again we’ve got part of our history in a book and I’m happy about that,” said Abeita.
The book is available at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuqueque for about $20.