http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jxE1YqnlL._SY300_.jpgBoy, these things really do come in threes, don’t they?

Charlie Williams is the answer to a trivia question: Who was traded for Willie Mays? The 67-year-old pitcher died on Tuesday.

No obituary, so far, from the NY papers, but I think (hope) it’s only a matter of time. Williams was actually born in Flushing and played for his hometown team, although he spent seven of his eight big league seasons with the San Francisco Giants.

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http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KdvK0hnOZfM/UH2WDnzT_MI/AAAAAAAAAN0/AVD6TpV8mKA/s1600/Monbo.jpgBruce Weber gave Monbouquette, who died at the age of 78 on Jan. 25 , the NY Times obit treatment.

Monbouquette was a sturdy pitcher during his 11-year career, winning 20 in 1963 for a Boston Red Sox team that was 76-85. He was a two-time All-Star and threw a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox in 1962.

He is also another in the line of players who were in the Majors when I was growing up who are passing away. Sad reminder of lost youth. But here’s a sweet piece from the Boston Herald that reminds us that most of these men have lots of life left in them when they leave the playing behind.

 

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Over due.

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 baseball community lost one of its real gentlemen when Ernie Banks passed away over the weekend.

Banks struck me like a Stan Musial type: a certified Hall of Famer who spent his entire career with one team that didn’t always play that well. He did well enough, though: two consecutive MVP awards (despite playing on the lowly Chicago Cubs), an 11-time All-Star, and runner-up for the Rookie of the Year Award in 1954.

Books about Banks aren’t that common (not including those meant for younger readers). In fact, the only one that immediately comes to mind is Ernie Banks: Mr. Cub and the Summer of ’69, a 2011 title from Phil Rogers.

Banks was ostensibly the author of his own story, Mr. Cub, released in 1971.

And, of course, he is a key figure in just about every contemporary Cubs’ team history.

Richard Goldstein wrote Banks’ obituary for The New York Times. Here’s an appraisal by Barry Bearak, which also appeared in the Times.

It is especially sweet that Sports Illustrated (which recently fired the last of their staff photographers), put him on the cover, instead of a standard Super Bowl illustration, at least in the Midwest edition.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-54c91194/turbine/chi-cubs-ernie-banks-graces-sports-illustrated-cover-in-midwest-20150128

http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/visual/whatshot/B8FrvpnCcAIA5QX.jpg

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Just like the movies, this is the baseball book awards season.

On Monday, I wrote about Kostya Kennedy’s biography Pete Rose: An American Dilemma, winning Spitball Magazine’s Casey award. Now the other shoe has dropped.

Mover and Shaker: Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers, & Baseball’s Westward Expansion, by past SABR President Andy McCue was selected as winner of the 2015 Dr. Harold and Dorothy Seymour Medal, which honors the best book of baseball history or biography published during the preceding calendar year.

McCue, a former business journalist and professor, will receive his award at the banquet of the 22nd annual NINE Spring Training Conference on Saturday, March 14,  at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Tempe, Arizona.

The Seymour Medal Selection Committee of Morris Eckhouse (chair), Bob Hoie, and Michael Haupert released the following statement:

The winner of the 2015 Seymour Medal is Mover & Shaker: Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers, and Baseball’s Westward Expansion by Andy McCue, published by University of Nebraska Press. McCue covers all the important elements in the life of the legendary and controversial baseball executive from his birth in the Bronx, New York, in 1903 to his death at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in 1979.

The biography presents a balanced account of O’Malley’s life and career, most notably the issues and events leading to O’Malley’s move of the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, bringing Major League Baseball to the West Coast, and the building of Dodger Stadium. Thoroughly researched, the book is comprehensive in tracing O’Malley’s rise to President and Principal Owner of the Dodgers and one of the most influential men in baseball and all sports.

McCue’s book, the result of years of research, benefits from a wide-ranging number of resources. It is sure to be the primary reference regarding O’Malley.

“As a journalist, you love it any time you can find a story in which you upset people’s perceptions (of a subject),” McCue said. “When I started looking into his story about 20 years ago, everyone just ripped on O’Malley, all the time. But I thought there was a lot more to his life than just the move. … His story plays a significant role in a lot of different aspects of the game.”

McCue, who worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise for nearly two decades and later taught at the University of California-Riverside, said that even though he grew up as a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, he approached this book without any strong feelings for the team’s departure from Brooklyn.

“I guess (growing up as a fan) colors you to some extent,” McCue said. “But I find that the biggest fans can be extremly objective. When a player makes an error, they’re not the ones patting him on the back. … Every journalist brings some skepticism to the process. You get in the habit of re-examining your perspective. It becomes part of how you work and how you view the world.”

McCue noted that he had the benefit of a “gold mine” of available resources in his research, including the Branch Rickey Papers at the Library of Congress, the Robert Moses Papers at the New York Public Library, and “all the newspapers I could find.” One resource he wishes he had, however, was the cooperation of the O’Malley family.

“The book could have been a richer presentation (with their cooperation),” McCue said. “There are a lot of holes in the early family history. Things aren’t as well explained as they could be. There was enough interesting material elsewhere, but there are several people who I really wanted to talk to and couldn’t.”

McCue was a recipient of the Bob Davids Award, SABR’s highest honor, in 2007. He served on SABR’s Board of Directors from 2002 to 2011, including the last three years as President.

The other finalists for the 2015 Seymour Medal were:

  • Baseball on Trial: The Origin of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption, by Nathaniel Grow (University of Illinois Press)
  • The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title That Became a National Obsession, by Rick Huhn (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Johnny Evers: A Baseball Life, by Dennis Snelling (McFarland & Co.)

The Seymour Medal, named in honor of Dr. Harold Seymour and Mrs. Dorothy (Seymour) Mills, was first awarded by SABR in 1996. To be considered for the medal, a work must be the product of original research or analysis. The winning book shall significantly advance our knowledge of baseball and shall be characterized by understanding, factual accuracy, profound insight and distinguished writing.

To see a list of previous Seymour Medal winners, click here.

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Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine announced the winner of the 2014 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year is Kostya Kennedy for Pete Rose: An American Dilemma.

http://img2.imagesbn.com/p/9781618930965_p0_v2_s260x420.JPGThe showing turned in by Rose was especially impressive given the outstanding field of finalists, which was extended by two books over the normal total of 10 Finalists.

“The judges had a difficult task,” said Spitball editor Mike Shannon, “but they did exactly what they were supposed to do: working independently of each other, they identified the best baseball book of the year.”

“You do not have to have a passionate stance one way or the other regarding Pete Rose in order to enjoy Kennedy’s book,” said Scott Ferkovich, who served as one of the judges. “You do not have to particularly like Pete Rose the person. You do not have to care whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame. I certainly didn’t. I’d already grown tired of the sordid story of Rose. But this book rekindles (indeed reinvents) the  debate, the emotion, the shouting and the tumult, the champagne and the glory, the hustle and the hustler, and the seamy underside that was and is so much a part of the life of Peter Edward Rose. Kennedy instills it all with the stuff of Shakespearean tragedy, yet takes no sides. He is an immensely talented writer who knows what he is doing, and he does it better than just about anybody else.”

Kennedy becomes the second two-time winner of the CASEY Award, along with Howard Bryant. Kennedy previously won in 2011 for 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports.

Here’s my Bookshelf Conversation with Kennedy.

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Uh-oh for A-Rod

January 27, 2015 · 0 comments

You ever have one of the experiences where a picture falls off a wall for no reason? Then you find out later that the person in the photo has had an accident or worse?

This just happened as I was working on blog posts:

photoThe mini-bobblehead of Alex Rodriguez, then a member of the Texas Rangers, was part of a collection that includes Ichiro Suzuki, Tom Glavine, and Mike Piazza (there was one more, but I can’t find it and don’t remember who it was, nor do I remember where they came from. Perhaps a giveaway in cereal boxes?)

A-Rod has come under attack — again — by the New York Yankees, who decided, after all this time, that they don’t want to pay him the bonuses under his contract for attaining “milestone” home runs.

From an ESPN.com story:

The New York Yankees are devising legal arguments so Alex Rodriguez won’t be able to collect any of the bonuses he is owed per the $30 million “milestone home run” marketing agreement he signed in 2007, sources confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.

If Rodriguez hits six more homers, which would tie him with Willie Mays for fourth all time, he will be eligible for a $6 million bonus as part of his 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees. Rodriguez has hit 654 home runs in his career.

The Yankees plan on contesting the validity of the marketing deal because of Rodriguez’s steroids revelations and yearlong suspension….

As much as you may not like Rodriguez, the Yankees pretty much knew what they were getting when they re-signed him in 2007. Tony Kornhieser argued about this on yesterday’s Pardon the Interruption. Word had long been circulating that A-Rod used performance enhancing drugs. Unless they believed his fairy tales that he was clean, in which case bad on them for not doing due diligence. They wanted him for the fannies he would put in the seats and the excitement engendered by those home runs, but now, given his suspension and the facts that the team will probably be stink-o for the next few seasons, they don’t want to honor their agreements.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Oh, and by the way, the bobblehead doesn’t work, either.

 

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One of the things I missed most about not blogging here regularly was the opportunity to conduct these podcast interviews. There’s always someone interesting to talk with a bout their new project, be it a book, a move, a musical album, etc.

http://scjewishsportshof.com/images/Siegman_Joe.jpgI spoke with Joe Siegman as a major player in the U.S. Maccabi movement for my forthcoming books. What I did not realize at the time, although I had corresponded with Siegman for years in conjunction with the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Netanya, Israel, which he founded, was that he did so as in part to help the Maccabi USA as a fund-raising mechanism. He published several editions of Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 4th Edition, but what I wanted to talk to him about, in the purview of this site, was his new book, Bats, Balls, and Hollywood Stars: Hollywood’s Love Affair with Baseball.

You see, Siegman has been one of Hollwyood’s premier publicity agents, the kind who knows everyone and can call in favors at the snap of a finger. So when he got involved with the Hollywood Night of Stars, a series of exhibition baseball games that were popular from the mid-1960s until fairly recently, he found himself a popular fellow. Celebrities desperately wanted to appear in these affairs, played before regularly scheduled Dodgers games, and Siegman was one of the men to make that happen.

Bats, Balls and Hollywood Stars is a fun coffee table book full of pictures of such baseball fans and self-acclaimed players as Kevin Costner, Tom Selleck, Billy Crystal, Corbin Bernsen. These are people we’ve all see in some of the better baseball flicks over the years. But Bob Newhart? Steve Martin? Kareem Abdul Jabbar? Granted, some of these celebrities will be remembered mostly by baby boomers, but it’s still a kick.

I spoke with Siegman, an amazing raconteur, recently about the challenges of putting these games together, and some of the better celebrity-athletes.

 

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Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message.

So without further ado, here are the top ten baseball books as per Amazon.com, as of this posting.

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: 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.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. 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, at least not in the main. For the sake of brevity, I will be omitting the subtitles, which have become ridiculously long in in some cases in recent years, also at my discretion.

  1. http://img1.imagesbn.com/p/9781493010158_p0_v3_s260x420.JPGBaseball Prospectus 2015
  2. Jeter Unfiltered, by Derek Jeter
  3. Baseball America 2015 Prospect Handbook: The 2015 Expert guide to Baseball Prospects and MLB Organization Rankings
  4. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  5. 2015 Baseball Forecaster: An Encyclopedia of Fanalytics, by Ron Shandler
  6. 100 Years of Who’s Who in Baseball, by Douglas Lyons (Bookshelf review here.)
  7. The Bill James Handbook 2015
  8. The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance, by H.A. Dorfman
  9. The Natural, by Bernard Malamud
  10. Baseball America 2015 Almanac: A Comprehensive Review of the 2014 Season

If I had time, I would go back to when I started toing these to see of Dorfman’s classic is cyclical. That is, does it disappear at a certain point and make a comeback of sorts before the new season starts?

It will also be interesting to see the reaction to the Who’s Who in Baseball retrospective. Don’t want to influence anyone, but I was disappointed with the product.

Not on this list? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Ya’ll are gonna do something about that, right?

If you have read it, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing a review for the Amazon page. There haven’t been any in awhile. Doesn’t have to be long (or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it), but anything would be appreciated. And thanks to those who have :) .

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Review roundup, Jan. 21

January 22, 2015 · 0 comments

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Gm8u-aA%2BL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI frequently wonder about the role of book critics: Must they be students of the topics of which they read and report? Fans? That’s certainly not the case in this piece by Mark Dent of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Dent writes – with my annotations in brackets –

The “summer” baseball book could have its own section on Amazon [it kind of does, actually; All one has to do is select "books" in the search box and type in "baseball."]. You’re probably aware of the type. Summer baseball books are often flowery, [so baseball titles released in other seasons are all right then?] celebratory tomes of a bygone achievement in America’s pastime [ isn't every non-fiction book about a "bygone" time?], marked by unfamiliar adjectives that require the use of a Thesaurus ["require?" Perhaps, if the educational system has utterly failed you] and proclamations of grandeur that align baseball with American historical trends [as opposed to just about any other serious non-fiction book?].

For people who aren’t obsessed with baseball — and I certainly fit into that category — these books will make you fall asleep atop your pool chair [outrageous blanket statement]. Fortunately a different type of baseball book came out in July: Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era, by Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts. It is the anti-summer baseball book in the best way possible. [Does that mean the book is anti-summer or it’s anti-baseball books that are released in the summer, because most of them come out at the beginning of the baseball season].

To be fair, sometimes having a fresh set of eyes on the topic can open up discussion a bit. But it almost seems as if this assignment was thrust upon someone who had absolutely no interesting in baseball per se.

http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/visual/whatshot/rickey-robinson-11614.jpg

Matt Snyder posts on CBSSports.com what he claims will be “a new feature that will run on occasion. From time to time, we’ll recommend baseball-themed books to read during these pesky winter months.” His first contribution: Roger Kahn’s latest, Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball, which received mixed reviews. Snyder’s upshot: “This book is highly recommended to anyone who wants to know the real, behind-the-scenes history surrounding Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier for Branch Rickey’s Dodgers.” I don’t know Snyder, don’t know how old he is, but I would love to see an age-breakdown of the reviewers for this book. Somehow I get the feel that the younger ones — as well as the ones who aren’t necessarily well schooled on this subject, gave the book better marks.

Bob D’Angelo — aka “The Sports Bookie” — reviews The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title That Became a National Obsession on the Tampa Tribune site. Upshot: “Writing about baseball history, particularly an isolated, controversial event that took place more than a century ago, can be a daunting task. But author/historian Rick Huhn is equal to the challenge…. The Chalmers Race gets into the act and presents an interesting view of an ancient dispute.”

D’Angelo also reviews a novel so I don’t have to. Unfortunately, his critique of Len Joy’s debut project American Past Time contains the phrase “baseball as a metaphor for life…” so I have to deduct some points.

Continuing on the fiction thread, here’s one from BlogCritics on Michael Draper’s Strike Three, You’re Dead. Upshot: “If you enjoy suspense and action this you will find it in Three Strikes and You’re Dead. If you enjoy sleuthing than you will find this team of PI’s fun and energetic with both humor and bravado.”

Here’s a review from MLBReports of another book about attending each ballpark during a specified period of time, in this case it’s Alicia Barnhart’s self-published memoir, My Ballpark Summer: What Taking Myself Out to the Ballgame Taught Me. The reviewer, Douglas “Chuck” Booth, also took on this task and chronicled his adventures in another self-published work, The Fastest Thirty Ballgames: A Ballpark Chasers World Record Story.

 http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MgDmOGkqL.jpg

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The inventor of instant replay died Jan. 18 at the age of 81.

In a way, I blame him for ruining sports and perhaps culture in general.

Because IR is so pervasive, there is no “dead time,” pardon the expression, any more. If you watch a baseball, you will invariably see at least two replays of every pitch from different camera angles. When the ball is put into play, there will also be replays from multiple views. If you’re actually attending a game, you actually have to pay attention, because if you miss something, it might be gone (at least until you get home and catch it on the news or SportsCenter).

It’s pretty much the same in every sport, but baseball is the worst because there’s so much time between the action. And now that there’s the ability to overturn rulings on the field/court, the use of video replay isn’t just filler, it can extend the game.

It creeps over into other aspects of life, too. As an avid podcast listener, whenever I listen to the radio and miss something, I am dismayed when reminded I can’t “rewind.”

Here’s Verna’s obituary in The New York Times, written by Bruce Weber. And from the Los Angeles Times

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Submitted for your interest from another semi-regular scan of new titles.

It may seem unfair, but I do tend to judge e-books by their cover, especially when they are offered only in that format. It’s an indication of the time and effort the author/publisher puts into the project. Similarly, I’m basing my opinions strictly on the quality of the sample offered. Some are longer than others; I’m not sure who makes those decisions. Comments here refer only to the Kindle editions (as opposed to other e-book versions); the use of additional information, photos, etc., may or may not be different from the print edition. Prices reflect latest from Amazon for ebook and full price/Amazon discount for print.

https://d1vxgwos21rroi.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/BF15_200w.jpg2015 Baseball Forecaster: An Encyclopedia of Fanalytics, by BaseballHQ.com. I am not a big proponent of fantasy baseball nor sabermetrics. In theory, I find it interesting, but in practice, not so much. What I am is fascinated to learn that this publication is in its 29th year, which means it originated long before the popularity of ebooks. How books like this and Baseball Prospectus, which rely so heavily on statistics and tables, keep things fresh? Kudos to the authors for having the honesty to admit that books like this “can’t project player performances with the level of precision that advanced metrics and modeling systems would like us to believe.”

Sample size: One-plus chapters.
Table of contents? Yes.
Would I read the rest? Probably
Price: $9.98 vs. vs. $25.95/$19.68
Worth the price? Yes.

The Bill James Handbook 2015, by Baseball Info Solutions. I have recently passed the stage in life where I feel I have to have every baseball book that comes out. Whether that’s fatalism or practicality, I don’t know, but this is the type of book that will bear the brunt of my decision. That’s not to say that the book isn’t worthy. Who am I to criticize an innovator and icon such as Bill James? As to the volume itself, this is another in the genre of annuals that presents mostly the same kind of info each year, with an extra “line” added to update the career stats. But I wouldn’t read it for the tables, a difficult feat on my Kindle Fire tablet; I would read it for James’ entertaining commentary..

Sample size: Introduction. Three chapters-plus.
Table of contents? Yes.
Would I read the rest? Probably not
Price: $10.49 vs. $28.95/$23.04
Worth the price? Moot point.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51dKBj59AhL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpgThe Language of Baseball: A Complete Dictionary of Slang Terms, Cliché’s and Expressions from the Grand Ole Game, by Ryan Grey. Was this trip really necessary when Paul Dickson did is so much better? Comparing Grey’s Language to The Dickson Baseball Dictionary (for a lower price) is like comparing a student’s dictionary with the two-volume American Dictionary of the English Language. (By the way, Grey’s book is not to be confused with The Hidden Language of Baseball, another title from Dickson.)

Sample size: Words beginning with “A” and most of “B”
Table of contents? No, but since this is a dictionary….
Would I read the rest? No
Price: $15.99 vs. $19.95/$16.43
Worth the price? Moot point.

1302 Winning Quotes for Coaches, by Bob Bennett. Published by Coaches Choice (the same outfit that released The Language of Baseball), this is exactly as advertised: a collection of supposedly inspirational quotes for coaches to use on their teams. Sorry if I appear jaded, but does this stuff still work anymore? Can’t you just see some neophyte poring over these all night to lay on his charges the next day? The one sample chapter offers no attributions for the scores of quotes on the subject of adversity.

Sample size: One chapter
Table of contents? No.
Would I read the rest? No, but then, I’m not a coach.
Price: $15.96 vs. $19.95/$15.44
Worth the price? Moot point.

http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/images/9780252038754.jpgMarvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary, by Robert Burk. A lot of people have been looking forward to a solid bio of Miller and this seems to be the one. Burk, who has written before on baseball and labor (Never Just a Game: Players, Owners, and American Baseball to 1920 and Much More Than a Game: Players, Owners, and American Baseball since 1921) serves up a thoughtful appraisal for the man who may have done more to change the game than anyone has ever given him credit for.

Sample size: Extensive preface, acknowledgments, and sizable first chapter
Table of contents? Yes
Would I read the rest? Yes
Price: $17.01 vs. $35/$31.50
Worth the price? Moot point.

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One of the things authors are called on to do more and more these days is create a web presence. Some are better than others, especially if they’re done by the publisher (but those are usually for high profile writers), but they all serve the common purpose of introducing their work to the public.

I created a free WIX site for 501 Baseball Books and I will be the first to admit that it’s not very good. For what I wanted to do, this particular host was the wrong way to go, given my limited technical skills. Because it’s a website, it reads differently than a blog and was much more unwieldy to manage since I had to cut and paste to move elements every time I made an addition. To incorporate a blogging feature, I had to use Blogger, which meant finding a way to piggyback onto this blog, etc.,etc.

Like I said, if it was under the aegis of the publisher, or if I had someone taking care of this for me, it wouldn’t be such an issue. But I also host Kaplan’s Korner as well as working my day job and the occasional book; the thought of adding another website or blog for my latest is already making my head spin.

When composing the entry on new titles, I came across a few author sites, among them:

  • http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518ZyMIkE7L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgJeff Katz, Mayor of Cooperstown and author of Split Season — 1981: Fernandomania, The Bronx Zoo and The Strike That Saved Baseball
  • Doug Wedge, co-author of Charlie O’Brien’s The Cy Young Catcher, about which I’ve written before.
  • The Joy of Ballpark Food by Bennett Jacobstein is a very simple yet sincere site. It offers a table of contents, a few sample chapters, and lets the visitor know that “100% of royalties from the sales of this book are donated directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank  of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.”
  • Another simple but perfectly fine site is Mort Zachter’s presence for Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life. The venue also includes his previous book, Dough: A Memoir.
  • Then there’s Charles Leerhsen, author of Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. I hope this was done by someone else, since it refers to the author in the third person and to the book as “Finally—a fascinating and authoritative biography of perhaps the most controversial player in baseball history….” Really? “Finally?” As in every Cobb bio that came before was  unfascinating and poorly researched? Leerhsen has previously written about horse racing and motor sports, and those volumes are included on this site.

I’m sure there are or will be more, but I haven’t gotten around to investigating yet.

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Bookshelf review: 100 Years of Who’s Who in Baseball

2015 title

By Douglas B. Lyons. The Lyons Press. 216 Pages. $24.95 To be fair, how do you write a book about a book that’s essentially about tables of numbers? That’s the challenge Lyons picks up in 100 Years of Who’s Who in Baseball.  While it’s fun to look at each of the covers, dating back to […]

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Baseball and Dr. King

Because I can...

Didn’t want the day to go by without a mention of Martin Luther King Jr. and his baseball connections. Here’s a piece I posted on the last MLK Day. One from two years ago by The Baseball Sociologist. And another from 2008 by the popular and thoughtful Dave Zirin on King and Roberto Clemente in […]

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Straying off topic: Non-baseball writers on baseball, and vice-versa

"Oddballs"

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t particularly care for Stephen King’s novella, Blockade Billy. I found his co-authored Faithful with Stewart O’Nan much more in my alley. In this Bangor Daily News piece, he discusses his affinity for the game, among other items. Haruki Murakami, author of such best-sellers as 1Q84, also loves […]

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Baseball best-sellers, Jan. 16, 2015

"Annuals"

  Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message. On with the show… As you may have notice in recent […]

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Coming down the pike: A league of their own

2015 title

There are so many books coming from three publishers, I thought to give them a page of their own. McFarland gets high marks for taking on subjects and people that might otherwise go under the radar. That’s not to say that every book is fantastic, all due respects to the writers, but at least they […]

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Coming down the pike: New baseball titles, Part IV— Odds and ends

2015 title

And the wrap-up… * denotes items of particular interest (to me, at any rate). Odds and Ends ** It will be interesting to see how The Hidden Game of Baseball: A Revolutionary Approach to Baseball and Its Statistics has held up since it was first published 30 years ago. Authors John Thorn and Pete Palmer […]

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Coming down the pike: New baseball titles, Part III — The next Moneyball and re-issues

2015 title

The next Moneyball? * A few “inside baseball (business)” pieces coming up: In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball by long-time SABR members Mark Armour and Daniel Leviit. John Pessah adds to this sub-genre with The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers. Lonnie Wheeler’s Intangiball: The Subtle […]

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Coming down the pike: New baseball titles, Part II — History and Team Profiles

2015 title

Rather than lay it all out there, I thought I would divvy this up into smaller, more manageable bites, so here’s Part 2. * denotes items of particular interest (to me, at any rate). History One of my bugaboos has long been titles such as The Nats and the Grays: How Baseball in the Nation’s […]

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