Now available: At long last I’m happy to announce the official release of my latest book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War. Support your local  local bookstore and tell your friends!

Merci.

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Image result for tracy stallardIf not for the late pitcher, we wouldn’t have any books about 61, Roger Maris, or asterisks.

Stallard passed away Dec. 7 at the age of 80. Here’s the NY Times obituary from Richard Goldstein.

After making his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1960, Stallard — a 6’5 righty — also played for the NY Mets and St. Louis Cardinals. He appeared in 183 games, 104 of those as a starter. Stallard retired with a record of 30-57. He led the NL with 20 losses for the Mets in 1964.

Here is the real event, followed by the one depicted in the TV movie *61, starring Barry Pepper — a pretty god look-alike — as Maris. Paul Gallo portrayed Stallard in an uncredited role.

 

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Detective Story

December 4, 2017 · 0 comments

No, not the 1951 feature film starring Kirk Douglas, William Bendix, and Eleanor Parker…

Recently I posted about a scene from The FBI Story, a 1959 flick starring that thespian baseball standout Jimmy Stewart, which depicted a banner headline from the Washington Post announcing a Babe Ruth Home run.

http://www.ronkaplansbaseballbookshelf.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_1584-768x576.jpeg

Jim Meier, the retired librarian for The Sporting News who occasionally does freelance research for authors, really did yeoman’s work in sussing out the details of my query. Here is his report:

Part I
An intriguing question about the Washington Post headline on Babe Ruth in the scene from the 1959 movie The FBI Story.

According to baseball-reference.com, Ruth hit 15 or more home runs every year from 1919 through 1934.  I found a plot summary for The FBI Story on imdb.com that says that the movie “starts off with the 1955 airline bombing by Jack Graham who placed a bomb in his mother’s suitcase so he could collect the insurance and killed 44 people in the process. The story then goes back to 1924 when a dissatisfied Hardesty is thinking of leaving the agency.”  So that narrows our search to 1924-34.

The county library here in St. Louis only has one database with images of the Washington Post for that time period and only for 1924.  Ruth hit his 15th home run that year on June 12.  According to the reference librarian, the Post on the following days did not have this home run as a banner headline.  I’m not convinced he’s looking at the right pages, so I want to investigate further.

In looking at other pages from that year, it appears that the Post was already using photography on its front page.  The paper in the movie does not.  This is not definitive since the Post did not use photos every day.

I have sent you the dates for Ruth’s 15th home run for each year.  Note that for three years, he hit two home runs on the date that he hit his 15th.  I think the Post would have mentioned that in the headline if that is the right year.  Given what I’ve found, I’d say your best bets are 1926 or 1930 if it’s an actual paper.

However, my best hypothesis is that this is a mocked up newspaper made just for the movie.  We were asked to do that same thing for movies and television shows at The Sporting News on occasion.  As to why they would use a mock up, there could be licensing rights, but most likely they couldn’t get a real paper from 1924 thirty-five years later or maybe the real paper’s headline wasn’t as bold or interesting.

Part II
I watched the movie today and agree with the following timeline:

Stewart is in Tennessee in early May 1924, where he marries his wife.
They honeymoon in the rain for a few weeks and board the train to DC on May 28th.
At some date some soon thereafter, Stewart hears the speech from Hoover and decides to remain with the Bureau.  On that same date, he has lunch with his wife.  In the restaurant, he passes a man reading the Washington Post with the headline about Babe Ruth and his 15th home run.  At this same lunch, his wife tells him that she is pregnant.

So I think you can assume that the critical date is in 1924 and not any other year.  As I mentioned earlier, Ruth hit his 15th home run in 1924 on June 12th, so the Post should be from June 13th.

Are we supposed to believe that they were in DC for two weeks before he listens to Hoover’s speech?  That seems a little long to me, but could be possible.

I am still trying to find a copy of the headlines for the Post for that date.  The database I need is the ProQuest Historical Newspapers database, which the St. Louis County library does not have, but Washington University does.  I am hoping that one of the Washington University students I know will be able to get me access.

A different problem is that if our timeline is correct and they are having lunch on June 13th, then it was probably too early for Stewart’s wife to know she was pregnant.  Unless, of course, they had sex before they were married (not something the movie studio would admit to in 1959).  We could decide that this fateful lunch takes place later in June (which screws up our Ruth HR date, but makes her knowledge of the pregnancy more likely).  If we really wanted to keep the paper as the 13th, then I suppose one could say that it was an old edition of the paper being read, but that seems farfetched to me.

Part III
My contacts at Washington University came through.  We accessed the database and looked at the front pages for both the main section and the sports section of the June 13, 1924 Washington Post.  The banner headline on the main section was about the nominees for the GOP presidential ticket that year.  No mention of Ruth at all.  The headline on the sports section was about a golf tournament.  There was an article on the Yankees’ June 12th game and there is a sub-head with “Ruth hits 15th homer.”

I still think the most likely scenario is that the paper is a mock up and made because they could not get a copy of an actual 1924 paper.  And they chose that specific headline because Ruth was such a well-known figure for the time period.  More so than any of the Washington Nationals.

And yes, if I had not gone into librarianship, then movie production design and all of its detail oriented work would have really excited me as an alternative.

By the way, Meier’s favorite Jimmy Stewart movies are After the Thin Man and The Philadelphia Story.

 

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What am I bid…?

December 2, 2017 · 0 comments

For a collection of books about baseball in the 1930s? Here’s your chance at this on-line auction.

However, there’s no list of the exact titles and if this picture — which accompanies the bidding — is any indication, the books are not just about that era. And here’s the caveat from the site: ” This is a sight sale. All items are sold as-is. AUTOGRAPHS HAVE NOT BEEN AUTHENTICATED. ABSOLUTELY NO RETURNS. No condition reports are provided; personal inspection is highly recommended before bidding on items.”

The auction ends in two-plus days.

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By now most of you are familiar with my caveats, so I’ll just mention them briefly: The list includes only print editions of books; calendars (even though Amazon includes them on their lists), no audiobooks (as much as I enjoy them), and no kindle (because I’m old school).

Second, since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Third, sometimes the list-makers will try to pull a fast one by including a book in a category to which it should not be listed. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles here.

Finally, adults only here. That is, no books for younger readers (although no erotic fiction that features baseball as a theme either. And goodness knows there are a bunch of those).

Image result for Aaron Judge the incredible storySo, with all that said…

  1. The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse, by Rich Cohen
  2. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Michael Silverman
  3. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  4. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  5. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law
  6. Bill James Handbook 2018
  7. The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It, by Lawrence Ritter
  8. Astros Strong: Houston’s Historic 2017 Championship SeasonHouston Chronicle
  9. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  10. Aaron Judge: The Incredible Story of the New York Yankees’ Home Run–Hitting Phenom, by David Fischer

Well, that didn’t take long, did it? A book on Aaron Judge? Here’s hoping he has better luck than another rookie who had a book written about him after a great first season.

Cohen’s book on the Cubs is #8 on the NY Times monthly sports best-seller list.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They DieToday: 918,245; last time: 1,466,414. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 501,398, last week 600,781. Makes a nice Hanukka present. Both do, actually.

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.

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Pop Quiz!

November 28, 2017 · 0 comments

Take a look at this book, which my wife is currently reading, and tell me its connection to baseball pop culture.

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If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the Jewish sports fan, you can’t do much better than The Jewish Baseball Card Book, by Bob Wechsler.

Image result for the jewish baseball card bookBased on the popular Jewish card sets produced by Martin Abramowitz (who helped on the project along with Peter McDonald), this coffee table edition features photos and brief stories about every JML from Lipman Pike through Alex Bregman, presented by the year of the athlete’s debut.

You might remember Wechsler from his previous contribution to the religion’s sports library, Day by Day in Jewish Sports History. He does his usual great job of mining for little gold nuggets in the genre. (Full disclosure: he’s one of my go-to guys whenever I have a question about an athlete’s identity or other Jewish-related sports puzzlers.)

As you might imagine, it’s hard to find cards for many of these MOTs, especially those who barely had a cup of instant coffee in the big leagues. That’s what makes this volume stand out. In addition to the pages on “regular” Jews, the writers have included a section on “Jews by Choice,” which includes such notables names as Elliot Maddox and Joel Horlen, among others.. There’s also a chapter on Jews who have appeared in Topps regular sets, along with the numbers of their cards, a sort of checklist without the standard checking part.

Even rarer than Jews on American baseball cards? Jews on sets produced in foreign countries. That’s here, too, along with the beloved “error cards” that usually have the wrong photo attributed to a player.

The book concludes with a checklist of cards issued prior to 1988. Why that date? Because that’s when the industry exploded, with several companies competing for the collectors’ dollars, making the undertaking of finding every single card a bit more arduous.

All in all, this is a must-have for those who love the very narrow theme. Remember, Hanukka is just around the corner.

Check out Peter Ephross’ recent article in Tablet. He tells a more sentimental story than my “just-the-facts” rendering. Ephross was the editor of Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words: Oral Histories of 23 Players. thisthis oneThere’s also from the Jewish Baseball Museum and from JewishBaseballNews.com.

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So I was watching yet another Jimmy Stewart movie, The FBI Story (1959), and my “baseballadar” picked up on this in a scene:

Note the headline, ostensibly from the Washington Post: “Babe Ruth Hits 15th Home Run.” Now I can’t enlarge it enough to catch the date, but it seems a bit far-fetched that the occasion would merit a banner headline like that. According to the story line, this scene is supposed to take place around the end of May, although I’m not sure of the year. Can anyone verify the veracity of the image?

Merci beaucoup.

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Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

By now most of you are familiar with my caveats, so I’ll just mention them briefly: The list includes only print editions of books; calendars (even though Amazon includes them on their lists), no audiobooks (as much as I enjoy them), and no kindle (because I’m old school).

Second, since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Third, sometimes the list-makers will try to pull a fast one by including a book in a category to which it should not be listed. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles here.

Finally, adults only here. That is, no books for younger readers (although no erotic fiction that features baseball as a theme either. And goodness knows there are a bunch of those).

So, with all that said…

  1. Image result for cubs curse, cohenThe Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse, by Rich Cohen
  2. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Michael Silverman
  3. Astros Strong: Houston’s Historic 2017 Championship SeasonHouston Chronicle
  4. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  5. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law
  6. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  7. 2017 World Series Champions: Houston Astros, Major League Baseball
  8. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  9. Ballplayer, by Chipper Jones and Carroll Rogers Walton
  10. Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz with Michael Holley

Cohen’s book on the Cubs ranks #8 on The New York Times’ current monthly sports bestseller list. No sports titles were included in the Times‘ list of 100 notable books for 2017.

As far as the Amazon list goes, nothing really new to report. Waiting for the holiday gift books to kick in. More on that in a future post.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They DieToday: 1,466,414; last time: 1,489,616. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 600,781, last week 268,446. Makes a nice Hanukka present.

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.

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Brought to you by Kellogg’s 3-D Super Star’s card set, as told by Scott Ferkovich on The National Pastime Museum site.

I have a set of these in a footlocker up in the attic. Funny how “modern” they seemed at the time.

There were a number of companies that put out their own sets of cards. A few that come readily to mind are Toys-R-Us, Drake’s Cakes, and Coco-Cola.Many did not come with the imprimatur of Major league baseball so all logos were black out. Seemed silly at the time, but understandable as an adult.

In addition, Coke produced a set of plastic soda bottle cap inserts for the NY Mets in the mid-1960s. I would bug the guy at the local kosher deli to go through his container of caps to find treasure. My mother, contrary to popular sentiment, was not responsible for the loss of my cards. I take full responsibility for losing a shoebox full of those extras that came in packs of Topps — stickers, coins, deckle-edge playing cards, mini-posters, etc. I wonder how much they’d be worth today?

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The Baseball Bio-Pic

November 21, 2017 · 0 comments

I was at work the other day and the conversation turned to movies. I talked about a recent bio-pic and one of my younger colleagues did not know what that was. I was kind of surprised but then realized, a) not everyone is a movie buff; b) a movie buff might not like bio-pics; c) never assume, and d) kids.

So for those of you out there who don’t know, a bio-pic is simply a TV or film biography. Usually these are “based on” or “inspired by” true facts, with people and date sometimes rearranged to make the story fit. Some sources same the term sprang up in 1947 while others attribute it to the early-to-mid 1950s. Of course, these things were being done before there was a name for it.

There are several baseball bio-pics, obviously (otherwise why would I bring it up here?). The first one might just be the best of the bunch: The Pride of the Yankees, released in 1942 and starring Gary Cooper. It was nominated for 11 Oscars, including Cooper and Teresa Wright for male and female leads, respectively, and Best Writing for an original story (Paul Galico). It won just one, for film editing.

I won’t go into detail here. Rather I would direct you to the excellent book, The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic by Richard Sandomir (Bookshelf Conversation with the author here). The full movie appears below.

The worst of the lot: The Babe Ruth Story, released in 1948 and featuring William Bendix as the Sultan of Swat.

Other movies in the genre, with the real-life person as subject and the actor who played him, arranged chronologically:

  • The Stratton Story (1949), Monty Stratton as portrayed by Jimmy Stewart. Stratton, a star pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, accidentally shot himself in the leg and had it amputated. June Allyson, who frequently appeared opposite Stewart, played his wife and Agnes Morehead, who went on to TV fame as Endora on Bewitched, is almost unrecognizable as Ma Stratton. Also features Frank “The Wizard of Oz” Morgan along with several baseball personalities playing themselves.

  • The Winning Team (1950), Grover Cleveland Alexander as portrayed by Ronald Reagan.

  • The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), with Robinson playing himself. Sorry to say, not a great acting choice, but who better to play the player than the player?

  • Fear Strikes Out (1957).  Jimmy Piersall portrayed by Anthony Perkins (1957). Like Bendix, Perkins was not the greatest athletic choice and legend has it that Piersall did not like the way the actor played him.

  • It’s Good to be Alive (TV 1974) Roy Campanella as portrayed by Paul Winfield. Here’s a link to the full movie.
  • A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story (TV 1977) with Blythe Danner and Edward Hermann in the title roles, with several other well-known character actors of the era. Here’s a clip.
  • Don’t Look Back; The Satchel Paige Story (TV 1981), as portrayed Lou Gossett Jr., who also appeared as Campanella’s assistant in It’s Good to be Alive. A clip.
  • A Winner Never Quits (TV 1986) One-armed Pete Grey as portrayed by Keith Carradine.
  • Babe Ruth (TV 1991) as portrayed by Stephen Lang. Also not a fantastic performance, as judged by this clip. Pete Rose appeared as Ty Cobb in this one.
  • The Babe (1992) as portrayed by John Goodman. This one is usually considered the second-worst biopic, after Bendix’s turn thanks to a combination of bad acting and writing.

  • Cobb (1994) with Tommy Lee Jones as Ty Cobb.

  • 42 (2013). Jackie Robinson as portrayed by Chadwick Bosman.

There’s also Moneyball (2011), starring Brad Pitt as Oakland As’ general manager Billy Beane, but I hesitate to classify that as a biopic, given its very specific theme. And I hope Art Howe wasn’t as big a jerk as the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman made him out to be.

Sarah D. Bunting (Bunting! ha.), a co-host on Extra Hot Great (my favorite podcast) is a hard core baseball fan. She came up with this list of biopics that need to be made.

And there’s always rumors about films in treatment. Moe Berg, anyone? Here’s an item from IMDB about the film adaptation of Nicholas Dawidoff’s wonderful bio, The Catcher Was a Spy, which carries a 2017 date but I haven’t really heard much about it. Paul Rudd plays Berg, which I find a bit of a stretch given  Rudd is 5’10” while Berg was 6’1″ and 185 pounds, fairly large for a player in those days. Suspend disbelief. The film also has Guy Pearce, Jeff Daniels, Paul Giammati (son of the late baseball commissioner), Tom Wilkinson, and Mark Strong in key roles. I found this brief clip/trailer for a short film titled The Catcher (2016), which is basically the same story, except from what I see from that and the IMDB entry, it’s more about his time in Japan. And it’s only 19 minutes. The cast features a bunch of actors I’m not familiar with at all, including Keith Edie (who reminds me of a young and glasses-free John Oliver) as Berg. You can actually watch the entire film here. Quickie review. Nicely produced but questionable delivery choices. And Berg was not a “Brooklyn Jew,” as he claims; he was born in Manhattan. Nor does the guy who “plays” Babe Ruth look anything like the slugger. And unless there was an additional time when he took photos of the Tokyo skyline for later use in U.S. air raids, this is unlike anything I’ve read before. More like James Bond meets Japan. Suspend disbelief.

So did I miss any other biopic? Please drop me a line and I’ll update the entry.

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Back on schedule…

By now most of you are familiar with my caveats, so I’ll just mention them briefly: The list includes only print editions of books; calendars (even though Amazon includes them on their lists), no audiobooks (as much as I enjoy them), and no kindle (because I’m old school).

Second, since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Third, sometimes the list-makers will try to pull a fast one by including a book in a category to which it should not be listed. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles here.

Finally, adults only here. That is, no books for younger readers (although no erotic fiction that features baseball as a theme either. And goodness knows there are a bunch of those).

So, with all that said…

  1. Image result for astros song, chronicleThe Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse, by Rich Cohen
  2. Astros Strong: Houston’s Historic 2017 Championship Season, Houston Chronicle
  3. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  4. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  5. Bill James Handbook 2018
  6. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  7. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Michael Silverman
  8. Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz with Michael Holley
  9. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  10. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law

There are no baseball titles on the current New York Times monthly sports bestseller list.

Same old same old. I don’t really expect the interest in the Houston Astros to last. All duesrespect, they don’t have the same lore and legend as did the Cubs when that team won the World Series in 2016.

And I know I don’t count Kindle sales, but I have to say I was right: the recent death of Bobby Doerr has sparked renewed interested in David Halbertsam’s The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship, which is the 12th-best selling print title according to my rules. October 1964, another Halberstam title, is second overall as a Kindle release for the amazing price of $1.99.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They DieToday: 1,489,616; last time: 1,463,374. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 268,446, last week 1,057,340. Whoa, what happened there? Not complaining. Makes a nice Hanukka present.

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.

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Spitball Magazine announces CASEY Award finalists

2017 Title

Mike Shannon, editor of Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine, recently sent along a notice about the finalists for the prestigious 2017 CASEY Award, celebrating its 35 year in recogniing some of the best books on the game. Where applicable, I have included a link to either my review of the book or a “Bookshelf Conversation” […]

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Lest we forget: Ray Robinson (UPDATE)

Lest We Forget

I recently posted about the passing of the venerable author/editor. At the time, I was still waiting for The New York Times to weigh in. That came on Nov. 9 in this obituary by Daniel E. Slotnik.

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Lest we forget: Bobby Doerr (Updated)

"Ripped from today's headlines..."

The last member of The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship — David Halberstam’s excellent project on  baseball and life published in 2011 — passed away yesterday at the age of 99. A Hall of Fame second baseman who batted .288 with  288 home runs, and 1,247 RBIs, Doerr played his entire career (1937-51) with […]

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Coming down the pike: New baseball books for 2018

19th century baseball

These are my favorite posts, taking a look at what new baseball books are on the horizon. A few notes: Traditional print rules the land here here. There may be a Kindle edition involved, but no Kindle-only titles are included herein. Second, Amazon does not want top make my life easier. I practically never include […]

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On this Veterans Day…

Baseball in movies

I was flipping through the dial and chanced upon Strategic Air Command, one of the many movies aired today in honor of Veteran’s Day. This one features Jimmy Stewart, one of my favorite actors, in the lead role of Dutch Holland, a star player for the St. Louis Cardinals who served in World War Two, […]

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Baseball Best-Sellers, Nov. 11, 2017

"Ripped from today's headlines..."

A day late and a dollar short… By now most of you are familiar with my caveats, so I’ll just mention them briefly: The list includes only print editions (no kindle or audio versions) because I’m old school. Second, since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate […]

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Baseball Best-Sellers, Nov. 3, 2017

2016 title

By now most of you are familiar with my caveats, so I’ll just mention them briefly: The list includes only print editions (no kindle or audio versions) because I’m old school. Second, since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But […]

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Lest we forget: Ray Robinson

History

Ray Robinson was among the last of his generation of sportswriters and authors. I had the pleasure of speaking with him on several occasions in my capacity as sports editor for the NJ Jewish News. He passed away yesterday at the age of 96. Marty Appel, shown with Robinson (right) at the dedication of a […]

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Baseball Best-Sellers, Oct. 27, 2017

"Annuals"

By now, most of you are familiar with my caveats, so I’ll just mention it briefly: The list includes only print editions (no kindle or audio versions) because I’m old school. Second, since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But […]

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