Congrats to Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra, two of the most recent recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. You can watch the CSPAN coverage of the event here.


New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, who died in September at the age of 90, was awarded the medal posthumously….

Celebrating Berra’s military service and remarkable baseball career, Obama threw in one of Berra’s famous “Yogi-isms” when he remarked, “One thing we know for sure: If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.”

When chuckles eventually rose from the crowd, Obama smiled and said, “It took everyone a while.”

Obama also credited Willie Mays’ baseball career with his own success. “Willie also served our country: In his quiet example while excelling on one of America’s biggest stages helped carry forward the banner of civil rights,” Obama said.

“It’s because of giants like Willie that someone like me could even think about running for president,” Obama said.

President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!

{ 0 comments } least you won’t have the ridiculous dramatic pauses with camera zoom-ins and throbbing music as the audience awaits the name of the winner. (DWTS, I’m looking at you.)

The editors of Spitball Magazine announced the nine finalists for the coveted CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.

The titles include:

  • The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball  by Charles Fountain
  • Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak by Travis Sawchik
  • Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius by Bill Pennington
  • The Colonel and Hug: The Partnership that Transformed the New York Yankees by Steve Steinberg & Lyle Spatz
  • The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers by Jon Pessah
  • The Game Must Go On: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII by John Klima
  • The League of Outsider Baseball: An Illustrated History of Baseball’s Forgotten Heroes by Gary Cieradkowski
  • Split Season 1981: Fernandomania, The Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball by Jeff Katz
  • Swing: A Novel by Philip Beard
  • Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty by Charles Leerhsen

In a statement, Mike Shannon, editor of Spitball, said, “As usual, it was no easy task to whittle the competition down to these ten books, and we are the first to say that outstanding books which we also greatly admire got left off the list. However, it’s inevitable, if the judging process is to remain a manageable proposition for the Judges who are required to read on average a book per week, and if the great honor of being named a Finalist is not to be diluted. More importantly, we are confident that the Best Baseball Book of the Year is on this list, and we look forward to the Judges’ decision, whatever it may be.”


Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!



November 24, 2015 · 0 comments

W2W4 is shortspeak for “what to watch for.” This can refer to movies, TV, or just about any pop culture event coming in the future.

After reading this piece by actor/writer Ian Michael Black in the Nov. 22 NY Times Sunday Book Review I got to thinking about how we listen to what used to be known, back in the day, as “books on tape.” Now you can download them to your iPod or smart phone. (How does the library delete them from my devices when the loan period expires? It’s like they’re witches!) Times featured a few other audiobook reviews but you would never know it because none of the addressed the “audio” part; they could have simply been about the print editions. Black, however, described the extra enjoyment he took because the book — Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions — was narrated by John Malkovich. To be accurate, the credit on the cover states “Performed by…,” which is in itself interesting.

Personally, I’ve almost always enjoyed listening to books (always the unabridged versions) as read/narrated/performed by the author. Who better to know what he or she wants the work to sound like? But at what point does the choice of narrator become a distraction? Malkovich is arguably one of the best actors of this generation. Can you listen to his rendering of the story with in his unique voice and not be somehow caught up in his oratorical skills?

There are several award-winner reader/narrators who do this as their livelihood, such as Scott Brick, narrator for the audio versions of Leigh Montville’s Ted Williams: The Life of an American Hero and George Vecsey’s Stan Musial: An American Life, who shared his thoughts in this Bookshelf Conversation several years ago. Do the same words read by someone of a different “stature” than Malkovich impart a different experience?,204,203,200_.jpgSeveral years ago, I listened to the audio version of The Great American Novel by Philip Roth, as performed by James Daniels. To be honest, as much as I loved reading the book — one of the underrated baseball novels, IMO — I did not enjoy listening to it. I thought the narrator made some odd choices in his voicework and his volume was often too loud.

But getting back to my original premise: if you’re going to write about an audiobook, I think it’s imperative for the critic to discuss the aural as well as the literary qualities; otherwise it’s just a plain old book review.


Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!


I frequently think about the statement, “X is going to be the first line in the obituary.” It’s usually offered when someone has a good life but will remembered for some unusual (often unfortunate) incident. Think about Steve Bartman or Bill Buckner, they should live and be well for many years.’s a bit different for Ken Johnson, who died Nov. 21 at the age of 82. For one thing, it’s not actually the first line in the obituary in today’s New York Timesby Bruce Weber. It actually doesn’t come until appear until the third paragraph.

Five times in the major leagues’ modern era, a team has given up no hits and failed to win. But in perhaps the game’s starkest good-news-bad-news case, only once did a single pitcher complete a nine-inning game without yielding a hit and still manage to lose it. The man who owns that two-faced distinction, Ken Johnson…

Johnson managed to last for 13 seasons, compiling a record of 91-106 for seven ball clubs. It’s a nice coda that such a journeyman pitcher with no real local ties — although he did pitch for the Yankees in 1969 — is memorialized with such an extensive obit.

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!


Coming down the pike

November 24, 2015 · 0 comments

Five new baseball titles from the University of Nebraska Press (“home” of 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die) in their Spring & Summer 2016 catalog, including:


Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!


NOTE: I have been posting these things long enough now that a few have commented that the introductory section isn’t necessary anymore. But I’m leaving it in because, to paraphrase Joe DiMaggio when asked why he played so hard all the time, there may be people who’ve never read the best-seller entries before. So on with the show…

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.

  1.,204,203,200_.jpgThis Old Man: All in Pieces, by Roger Angell
  2. The Bill James Handbook 2016
  3. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Jerry Silverman
  4. Taking the Crown: The Kansas City Royals’ Amazing 2015 Season, by Matt Fulks
  5. 2015 World Series Champions: Kansas City Royals, by Major League Baseball
  6. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis. (My review of Moneyball in the Elysian Fields Quarterly.)
  7. More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture, by Dayton Moore.
  8. Pitch by Pitch: My View of One Unforgettable Game, by Bob Gibson with Lonnie Wheeler (you can listen to a Bookshelf Conversation with Wheeler here).
  9. Sports Illustrated Baseball’s Greatest, by SI
  10. The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball, by Charles Fountain

Nothing remarkable on this week’s list other than the return of the Sports Illustrated title. It’s that time of year when coffee table books will be popular purchases as gifts. The Royals books remain in high regard.

New York Times: Only one title appears in the top 20 and it’s Jeter’s Unfiltered, coming in at Number 14. And considering it’s not much from a literary standpoint (all due respect), that’s even more sad.

Not on either list? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. This week: 727,567. Last week: 509,233. Not bad at this point, but could be better.

If you have read 501, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing a review for the Amazon page; it’s never too late. 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.

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!


Next to baseball and books (and, of course, baseball books), I enjoy learning about what goes on behind the scenes in movies. That;’s why I enjoy the I Was There Too podcast hosted by Matt Gourley, which features  interviews with actors who may not have been the stars of the films in which they appeared, but have interesting stories to tell nonetheless.

The latest episode features Dwier Brown, who played John Kinsella — Ray’s dad — in Field of Dreams. The ending of the movie has to have one of the most iconic scenes as he “reunites with his son, played by Kevin Costner.

You can hear the interview here.

I also spoke with Dwier when he released his memoir, If You Build It…: A book about Fathers, Fate and Field of Dreams, which I highly recommend. You can listen to that Bookshelf Conversation here.


Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!


Since I posted the first of these on a Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. These are kind of fun; it’s like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. (Actually, I never understood that famous quote from Forrest Gump. If it’s a box of chocolate covered cherries, don’t you know exactly what you’re going to get?)

On the one hand, I’m happy to report that I’m catching up/running out of these old links. On the other hand, it’s been cool reminiscing.

I highly recommend Pocket as a way to hold onto links you come that you want to keep. Unlike bookmarks, Pocket keeps the entire page and makes it relative easy for you to find stuff you “pocketed.” I have keepers going back six years — more than 5,000 links — and I’ve decided it’s time to start cleaning house so here are some submitted for your amusement, perusal, and education. Some are not current, but in a sense, they’re timeless. Note: Sometimes individual sites remove the content or simply cease their existence, so Pocket isn’t 100 percent foolproof.

* * * * *

If you were Republican Presidential hopeful Ben Carson, would you want to be seen as being in agreement with former major leaguer John Rocker?

The New York Yankees honored Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada with plaques in their famous “Monument Park,” leading to the question, how much is too much? That is a segue to this piece from SB Nation’s “Beyond the Box Score” blog asking the same thing about retired numbers.

The Hall of Fame produce some videos about their inductees under the heading “Beyond the Plaque.” Here’s one about Ted Lyons, a pitcher who spent his entire 21-year career with the Chicago White Sox, winning the AL ERA title at the age of 41 in 1942 and returning four years later for a final go-around.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, I wonder if a piece like this — originally posted in 2013 —  could simply be recycled, year after year, since the same issues crop up with every election? (This one, too as well as these two about the question of a player’s “character” when filling out the ballot and this one sticking up for the voters.) Change a few names and I doubt readers would notice or care much if they did.

By the way, that Tim Wiles, former head of research at the Hall, in the above video. He’s the subject of this interview from Baseballisms for his work as coauthor on Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” BK/CD.

A Winnie the Pooh on-line baseball game? Sure, why not?

The latest title in this list of “Baseball in Science-Fiction” seems to be from 2013. I wonder how much of an update is needed?

Joe Posnanski posted this lovely appreciation for Richard Ben Cramer following the writer’s death in January 2013. Cramer wrote the controversial biography, Joe DiMaggio : The Hero’s Life.

Kirkus ran this review of Sophomore Campaign: A Mickey Tussler Novel, the second Mickey Tessler novel by Frank Nappi. Upshot: “Ridiculously mannered prose strikes out this ambitious tale of a 1949 minor-league baseball team with an autistic star hurler and a courageous black catcher.” There’s a third story scheduled for release next April.

Do you think the Jets and Bills consulted this piece before making their unfortunate decision to have uniforms that basically rendered them undifferentiated to color-blind viewers?





Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!


My time is your time

November 19, 2015 · 0 comments

It’s all well and good that the pace of games is picking up. According to Billy Witz in the Nov. 11 New York Times

The pace of play rules that were instituted last season had an impact, shortening the average length of a game to 2 hours 56 minutes from 3:02, though [Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer Joe] Torre said the games slowed down near the end of the season [my emphasis].

I wonder how often the replay is used for the hell of it (think frivolous lawsuits) as a strategic tool to make the opposing pitcher stand out there longer?

Another question: how much quicker would they be without the replay review? This article from Business Insider was written in 2014, but many of the questions still apply.

Just FYI, according to this 2014 article in The Wall Street Journal, the actual time of play in a sport that has no time limitations was “17 minutes and 58 seconds of action over the course of a three-hour game.” By comparison, football, a game with time limits — four 15-minute quarters in regulation — contains 11 minutes of action, or at least it did when this WSJ piece ran in 2010.

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!


Been a bit busy lately with the two author events, so I know I’ve fallen behind.

You never know where inspiration will come from. According to this public radio story, Haruki Murakami came up with the idea for his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, as the result of a 1978 pro game in Japan, specifically after seeing former Major Leaguer Dave Hilton hit a double for the Yakult Swallows.

Baseball titles accounted for one-third of Entertainment Weekly’s article, “12 sports books in a league of their own,” including Jim Bouton‘s Ball Four; Jimmy Breslin‘s Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?; Roger Angell‘s Late Innings; and David Halberstam‘s October 1964.

Who knew there was still a Brooklyn Daily Eagle? Good thing for author Alan Lelchuck; they published a review of his new book, Breaking Ground: How Jackie Robinson Changed Brooklyn. Upshot: “It is a hymn to baseball and its legendary hero, a lyrical narrative that will beckon to all readers and listeners who were ever called by the sirens of youth, Jackie, baseball and Brooklyn.”

Redbird Rants, a Cardinals-centric site, suggest three 2015 titles to read. As did the Huffington Post.

The Washington Times posted this double review, incorporating The Grind: Inside Baseball’s Endless Season by Barry Svrluga with Filip Bondy‘s The Pine Tar Game: The Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees, and Baseball’s Most Absurd and Entertaining Controversy. Svrluga was also interviewed on Boise State Public Radio.

Hail, the local hero. The Iowa City Press-Citizen published this profile of Steve Bratkovich, author of a book about a native son: Bob Oldis: A Baseball Life. hesitated to include this piece because it besmirches a couple of generally-acceted good guys, but it’s so nuts. From the (web) pages of Esquire… “A Former Yankees Employee Is Spreading Gay Sex Rumors About Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada” (facepalm). Please. There’s a reason this probably had to be self-published. (Speaking of semi-fiction, how about this piece on Tom Swyers’s “novel based on a true story,” Saving Babe Ruth?)

Also from Esquire: You  can certainly understand how Art Howe might not like how he was depicted in the screen version of Moneyball. But Buck Showalter also had no love for the movie.

MyCentralNewJersey focused on the pertinent pages about Sparky Lyle, “manager emeritus” of the indy league Somerset Patriots, from Fritz Peterson‘s latest memoir, When the Yankees Were on the Fritz: Revisiting the Horace Clarke Years.. This comes from a Sept. 11 article after Peterson made a book-signing appearance at the Patriots’ ballpark. I told you I was behind.

Not sure what the deal is behind this blog/website named 1482 Elm. Given the topic — “Scariest Books You’ve (Probably) Never Read: ‘Blockade Billy’” — I’m guessing it has to do with the horror genre. Actually, I have read it, and originally thought the title was about books you’ll probably never read. Because to me this Stephen King offering was a bit of a clunker, as I wrote for Bookreporter when it came out in 2010.,204,203,200_.jpgShould Giants’ skipper Bruce Bochy give up his day job? You decide after reading this review of his “hybrid” project, A Book of Walks. Upshot? “The publisher, Steve Kettman, clearly wanted to leverage a Bay Area celebrity to bring attention to his indie publishing company (Wellstone Center in the Redwoods, which will also be using proceeds from book sales to fund a Bruce Bochy Writing Fellowship) and that’s okay to me because it seems like Bochy provided them with something that’s very ‘on brand’: a non-fiction spiritual and pro-environmental travelogue of sorts.”

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!


I recently created a bit of a stir of Facebook when, after doing some research for new titles coming down the pike, I questioned  the “necessity” for a biography on Mike Torrez. All due respect for the 18-year veteran, he doesn’t seem to have the gravitas of a Hall of Famer.

That reminded me of a project I did a few years ago about that very topic: books on or by Hall of Famers. As per my long-held attitude, I did not include titles written specifically for the younger crowd. I’m sure there have been additional titles published in the interim, especially for the perennial favorites like Mantle, DiMaggio, Berra, etc. I have not revised my original lists but I will at some point since there have been additional inductees in the intervening years.

Here are the links to those 2011 Bookshelf HOF entries for your convenience:

“Borrowing” from a table of Hall of Famers created by the good folks at, I’ve edited it to note if a member of the Hall has been paid literary tribute. A “♦” indicates there has been at least one book written about/by the individual as the main subject. There were surprises on both sides of the publishing line: some unlikely personalities had books thanks to niche outfits like McFarland, while some who were more prominent (at least to me) did not. One of the things you will notice is the dearth of books about many of those who came out of the Negro Leagues.


Year Method Position Books?
Hank Aaron (bio) 1982 BBWAA RF
Grover Alexander (bio) 1938 BBWAA P
Roberto Alomar 2011 BBWAA 2B
Walt Alston (bio) 1983 Veterans  M
Sparky Anderson (bio) 2000 Veterans  M
Cap Anson (bio) 1939 Veterans  1B
Luis Aparicio (bio) 1984 BBWAA SS
Luke Appling (bio) 1964 BBWAA SS
Richie Ashburn (bio) 1995 Veterans CF
Earl Averill (bio) 1975 Veterans CF
Frank Baker (bio) 1955 Veterans 3B
Dave Bancroft 1971 Veterans SS  
Ernie Banks 1977 BBWAA SS
Al Barlick 1989 Veterans  U  
Ed Barrow 1953 Veterans Executive 
Jake Beckley 1971 Veterans 1B
Cool Papa Bell 1974  Negro Leagues
Johnny Bench 1989 BBWAA C
Chief Bender 1953 Veterans P
Yogi Berra 1972 BBWAA C
Bert Blyleven 2011 BBWAA P
Wade Boggs 2005 BBWAA 3B
Jim Bottomley 1974 Veterans  1B
Lou Boudreau 1970 BBWAA SS
Roger Bresnahan 1945 Veterans C
George Brett 1999 BBWAA 3B
Lou Brock 1985 BBWAA LF
Dan Brouthers 1945 Veterans 1B
Mordecai Brown 1949 Veterans P
Ray Brown 2006  Negro Leagues  P  
Williard Brown 2006 Negro Leagues P
Morgan Bulkeley 1937 Veterans  Executive
Jim Bunning 1996 Veterans  P
Jesse Burkett 1946 Veterans  LF  
Roy Campanella 1969 BBWAA C
Rod Carew 1991 BBWAA 2B
Max Carey 1961 Veterans CF
Steve Carlton 1994 BBWAA P
Gary Carter 2003 BBWAA C
Alexander Cartwright 1938 Veterans   Executive
Orlando Cepeda 1999 Veterans 1B
Henry Chadwick 1938 Veterans Executive
Frank Chance 1946 Veterans 1B
Happy Chandler 1982 Veterans Executive
Oscar Charleston 1976 Negro Leagues 1B-CF
Jack Chesbro 1946 Veterans  P  
Nestor Chylak 1999 Veterans  U  
Fred Clarke 1945 Veterans LF
John Clarkson 1963 Veterans P
Roberto Clemente 1973 BBWAA RF
Ty Cobb 1936 BBWAA CF
Mickey Cochrane 1947 BBWAA C
Eddie Collins 1939 BBWAA 2B
Jimmy Collins 1945 Veterans 3B
Earle Combs 1970 Veterans  CF  
Charlie Comiskey 1939 Veterans  Executive
Jocko Conlan 1974 Veterans  U
Tom Connolly 1953 Veterans U  
Roger Connor 1976 Veterans  1B
Andy Cooper 2006 Negro Leagues  P  
Stan Coveleski 1969 Veterans  P
Bobby Cox 2014 Veterans  M
Sam Crawford 1957 Veterans RF
Joe Cronin 1956 BBWAA SS
Candy Cummings 1939 Veterans  P  
Kiki Cuyler 1968 Veterans  RF
Ray Dandridge 1987 Veterans 3B
George Davis 1998 Veterans SS
Leon Day 1995 Veterans  P-2B-OF  
Andre Dawson 2010 BBWAA CF
Dizzy Dean 1953 BBWAA P
Ed Delahanty 1945 Veterans  LF
Bill Dickey 1954 BBWAA C
Martin Dihigo 1977 Negro Leagues  P-OF  
Joe DiMaggio 1955 BBWAA CF
Larry Doby 1998 Veterans  CF
Bobby Doerr 1986 Veterans 2B
Barney Dreyfuss 2008 Veterans  Executive
Don Drysdale 1984 BBWAA P
Hugh Duffy 1945 Veterans  CF
Leo Durocher 1994 Veterans M
Dennis Eckersley 2004 BBWAA P
Billy Evans 1973 Veterans U
Johnny Evers 1946 Veterans 2B
Buck Ewing 1939 Veterans C
Red Faber 1964 Veterans  P
Bob Feller 1962 BBWAA P
Rick Ferrell 1984 Veterans  C
Rollie Fingers 1992 BBWAA P
Carlton Fisk 2000 BBWAA C
Elmer Flick 1963 Veterans  RF  
Whitey Ford 1974 BBWAA P
Bill Foster 1996 Veterans  P  
Rube Foster 1981 Veterans  P-M
Nellie Fox 1997 Veterans  2B
Jimmie Foxx 1951 BBWAA 1B
Ford Frick 1970 Veterans Executive
Frankie Frisch 1947 BBWAA 2B
Pud Galvin 1965 Veterans P
Lou Gehrig 1939 BBWAA  1B
Charlie Gehringer 1949 BBWAA 2B
Bob Gibson 1981 BBWAA P
Josh Gibson 1972 Negro Leagues  C
Warren Giles 1979 Veterans  Executive
Pat Gillick 2011 Veterans  Executive
Tom Glavine 2014 BBWAA P
Lefty Gomez 1972 Veterans P
Joe Gordon 2009 Veterans 2B
Goose Goslin 1968 Veterans  LF
Goose Gossage 2008 BBWAA P
Frank Grant 2006 Negro Leagues 2B  
Hank Greenberg 1956 BBWAA 1B
Clark Griffith 1946 Veterans  Executive
Burleigh Grimes 1964 Veterans P
Lefty Grove 1947 BBWAA P
Tony Gwynn 2007 BBWAA RF
Chick Hafey 1971 Veterans  LF  
Jesse Haines 1970 Veterans  P
Billy Hamilton 1961 Veterans  CF
Ned Hanlon 1996 Veterans M
Will Harridge 1972 Veterans Executive
Bucky Harris 1975 Veterans M
Gabby Hartnett 1955 BBWAA C
Doug Harvey 2010 Veterans  U  
Harry Heilmann 1952 BBWAA RF
Rickey Henderson 2009 BBWAA LF
Billy Herman 1975 Veterans  2B  
Whitey Herzog 2010 Veterans  M  
Pete Hill 2006 Negro Leagues  CF  
Harry Hooper 1971 Veterans  RF
Rogers Hornsby 1942 BBWAA 2B
Waite Hoyt 1969 Veterans  P  
Cal Hubbard 1976 Veterans U  ♦
Carl Hubbell 1947 BBWAA P
Miller Huggins 1964 Veterans  M  
William Hulbert 1995 Veterans  Executive  
Catfish Hunter 1987 BBWAA P
Monte Irvin 1973 Negro Leagues  LF  
Reggie Jackson 1993 BBWAA RF
Travis Jackson 1982 Veterans  SS  
Fergie Jenkins 1991 BBWAA P
Hughie Jennings 1945 Veterans  SS
Ban Johnson 1937 Veterans  Executive  
Judy Johnson 1975 Negro Leagues 3B
Walter Johnson 1936 BBWAA P
Addie Joss 1978 Veterans  P  
Al Kaline 1980 BBWAA RF
Tim Keefe 1964 Veterans  P  
Willie Keeler 1939 BBWAA RF
George Kell 1983 Veterans  3B  
Joe Kelley 1971 Veterans LF
George Kelly 1973 Veterans 1B
King Kelly 1945 Veterans RF
Harmon Killebrew 1984 BBWAA 1B
Ralph Kiner 1975 BBWAA LF
Chuck Klein 1980 Veterans  RF  
Bill Klem 1953 Veterans  U  
Sandy Koufax 1972 BBWAA P
Bowie Kuhn 2008 Veterans Executive
Nap Lajoie 1937 BBWAA 2B
Kenesaw Landis 1944 Veterans  Executive  
Barry Larkin 2012 BBWAA SS
Tony La Russa 2014 Veterans  M  
Tommy Lasorda 1997 Veterans  M  
Tony Lazzeri 1991 Veterans  2B
Bob Lemon 1976 BBWAA P
Buck Leonard 1972 Negro Leagues  1B
Freddie Lindstrom 1976 Veterans  3B  
Pop Lloyd 1977 Negro Leagues SS
Ernie Lombardi 1986 Veterans  C  
Al Lopez 1977 Veterans  M  
Ted Lyons 1955 BBWAA P
Connie Mack 1937 Veterans  M
Biz Mackey 2006 Negro Leagues  C  
Larry MacPhail 1978 Veterans Executive
Lee MacPhail 1998 Veterans Executive
Greg Maddux 2014 BBWAA P
Effa Manley 2006 Negro Leagues Executive  
Mickey Mantle 1974 BBWAA CF
Heinie Manush 1964 Veterans  LF  
Rabbit Maranville 1954 BBWAA SS
Juan Marichal 1983 BBWAA P
Rube Marquard 1971 Veterans  P  
Eddie Mathews 1978 BBWAA 3B
Christy Mathewson 1936 BBWAA P
Willie Mays 1979 BBWAA CF
Bill Mazeroski 2001 Veterans  2B
Joe McCarthy 1957 Veterans M
Tommy McCarthy 1946 Veterans  RF  
Willie McCovey 1986 BBWAA 1B
Joe McGinnity 1946 Veterans  P
Bill McGowan 1992 Veterans  U  
John McGraw 1937 Veterans  M  
Bill McKechnie 1962 Veterans M
Bid McPhee 2000 Veterans 2B
Joe Medwick 1968 BBWAA LF
Jose Mendez 2006 Negro Leagues P  
Johnny Mize 1981 Veterans  1B  
Paul Molitor 2004 BBWAA DH
Joe Morgan 1990 BBWAA 2B
Eddie Murray 2003 BBWAA 1B
Stan Musial 1969 BBWAA 1B
Hal Newhouser 1992 Veterans  P  
Kid Nichols 1949 Veterans  P  
Phil Niekro 1997 BBWAA P
Hank O’Day 2013 Veterans U
Walter O’Malley 2008 Veterans  Executive  
Jim O’Rourke 1945 Veterans LF
Mel Ott 1951 BBWAA RF
Satchel Paige 1971 Negro Leagues  P  
Jim Palmer 1990 BBWAA P
Herb Pennock 1948 BBWAA P ♦*
Tony Perez 2000 BBWAA 1B
Gaylord Perry 1991 BBWAA P
Eddie Plank 1946 Veterans  P  
Alex Pompez 2006 Negro Leagues Executive  
Cum Posey 2006 Negro Leagues  Executive  
Kirby Puckett 2001 BBWAA CF
Old Hoss Radbourn 1939 Veterans  P  
Pee Wee Reese 1984 Veterans SS
Jim Rice 2009 BBWAA LF
Sam Rice 1963 Veterans RF
Branch Rickey 1967 Veterans  Executive  
Cal Ripken, Jr. 2007 BBWAA SS
Eppa Rixey 1963 Veterans    
Phil Rizzuto 1994 Veterans  SS  
Robin Roberts 1976 BBWAA P
Brooks Robinson 1983 BBWAA 3B
Frank Robinson 1982 BBWAA RF
Jackie Robinson 1962 BBWAA 2B
Wilbert Robinson 1945 Veterans  M
Bullet Rogan 1998 Veterans  P
Edd Roush 1962 Veterans CF
Red Ruffing 1967 BBWAA P
Jacob Ruppert 2013 Veterans  Executive
Amos Rusie 1977 Veterans  P  
Babe Ruth 1936 BBWAA RF
Nolan Ryan 1999 BBWAA P
Ryne Sandberg 2005 BBWAA 2B
Ron Santo 2012 Veterans  3B
Louis Santop 2006 Negro Leagues    
Ray Schalk 1955 Veterans  C  
Mike Schmidt 1995 BBWAA 3B
Red Schoendienst 1989 Veterans  2B  
Tom Seaver 1992 BBWAA P
Frank Selee 1999 Veterans M  
Joe Sewell 1977 Veterans  SS  
Al Simmons 1953 BBWAA LF
George Sisler 1939 BBWAA 1B
Enos Slaughter 1985 Veterans RF
Hilton Smith 2001 Veterans P  
Ozzie Smith 2002 BBWAA SS
Duke Snider 1980 BBWAA CF
Billy Southworth 2008 Veterans  M  
Warren Spahn 1973 BBWAA P
Al Spalding 1939 Veterans  Executive  
Tris Speaker 1937 BBWAA CF
Willie Stargell 1988 BBWAA LF
Turkey Stearnes 2000 Veterans CF
Casey Stengel 1966 Veterans  M  
Bruce Sutter 2006 BBWAA P  
Mule Suttles 2006 Negro Leagues 1B  
Don Sutton 1998 BBWAA P
Ben Taylor 2006 Negro Leagues 1B
Bill Terry 1954 BBWAA 1B
Frank Thomas 2014 BBWAA DH ♦ *
Sam Thompson 1974 Veterans  RF  
Joe Tinker 1946 Veterans  SS
Joe Torre 2014 Veterans M  
Cristobal Torriente 2006 Negro Leagues  CF  
Pie Traynor 1948 BBWAA 3B
Dazzy Vance 1955 BBWAA P
Arky Vaughan 1985 Veterans SS
Bill Veeck 1991 Veterans  Executive  
Rube Waddell 1946 Veterans  P  
Honus Wagner 1936 BBWAA SS
Bobby Wallace 1953 Veterans SS
Ed Walsh 1946 Veterans  P  
Lloyd Waner 1967 Veterans CF
Paul Waner 1952 BBWAA RF
John Ward 1964 Veterans  SS  
Earl Weaver 1996 Veterans  M  
George Weiss 1971 Veterans Executive
Mickey Welch 1973 Veterans  P  
Willie Wells 1997 Veterans  SS
Zack Wheat 1959 Veterans LF
Deacon White 2013 Veterans  3B
Sol White 2006 Negro Leagues  Executive
Hoyt Wilhelm 1985 BBWAA P
J.L. Wilkinson 2006 Negro Leagues  executive  
Billy Williams 1987 BBWAA LF
Dick Williams 2008 Veterans  M  
Joe Williams 1999 Veterans  P  
Ted Williams 1966 BBWAA LF
Vic Willis 1995 Veterans  P  
Hack Wilson 1979 Veterans  CF  
Jud Wilson 2006 Negro Leagues 3B
Dave Winfield 2001 BBWAA RF
George Wright 1937 Veterans  Executive  
Harry Wright 1953 Veterans Executive
Early Wynn 1972 BBWAA P
Carl Yastrzemski 1989 BBWAA LF
Tom Yawkey 1980 Veterans Executive
Cy Young 1937 BBWAA P
Ross Youngs 1972 Veterans RF  
Robin Yount 1999 BBWAA SS

* Release date 2016

Of the 32 players on the current BBWAA ballot, 10 have already been the subjects of or written books, including Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Mussina, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Nomar Garciaparra, Ken Griffey, and Billy Wagner.

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!

{ 1 comment }

Here’s guy who takes the admonition “Don’t quite your day job” to heart.

Dr. Doug Wilson, a full-time ophthalmologist with a thriving practice, has written biographies about four prominent men — including two Hall of Famers — who nevertheless have slipped under the radar, especially for fans who never saw them player.

Wilson’s latest — Pudge: The Biography of Carlton Fisk — was released last month, perhaps as a nod to his contribution to baseball for for one of the most dramatic home runs in World Series History.  You can read my review of Pudge from here.) It was the third year in a row for Wilson books  released by Thomas Dunne, the two prior being Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson, and The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych (the fourth book was Fred Hutchinson and the 1964 Cincinnati Reds, published in 2010 by McFarland).,204,203,200_.jpg

I spoke with Wilson about his choice of subjects and the experience of working with different publishers.

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!


Baseball Best-Sellers, Nov. 13, 2015


NOTE: I have been posting these things long enough now that a few have commented that the introductory section isn’t necessary anymore. But I’m leaving it in because, to paraphrase Joe DiMaggio when asked why he played so hard all the time, there may be people who’ve never read the best-seller entries before. So on […]

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!
Read the full article →

Lucky (?) 13


I never got that. Without going into the popular history of friggatriskaidekaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th as opposed to triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number itself), isn’t 13 kind of a good number for the Jews? Bar mitzva and all? According to, there have been 299 players who wore the number 13 for part […]

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!
Read the full article →

California, there I went.

Author appearance

Spent a lovely weekend in La Jolla where I spoke to a group as part of the San Diego Jewish Book Fair. Yes, New Jersey was having an unseasonably mild November, but the same temperatures over there seemed so much nicer. (Shows how spoiled they are out there: they thought it was cold.) For logistical […]

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!
Read the full article →

Mother of God; is this the end of…


my baseball cap collection? (Sorry, Little Caesar fans; and if you think I’m talking about the pizza franchise, shame on you, you Philistine). I have a very modest collection of baseball caps — perhaps 25 or so — from major and minor league teams. One of the reasons it’s so small is my rule: I […]

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!
Read the full article →

Baseball Best-Sellers, Nov. 6, 2015

2015 title

NOTE: I have been posting these things long enough now that a few have commented that the introductory section isn’t necessary anymore. But I’m leaving it in because, to paraphrase Joe DiMaggio when asked why he played so hard all the time, there may be people who’ve never read the best-seller entries before. So on […]

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!
Read the full article →

Throwback Thursday (aka links dump)

2011 title

Since I posted the first of these on a Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. These are kind of fun; it’s like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. (Actually, I never understood […]

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!
Read the full article →

Lest we forget: Norm Siebern

Lest We Forget

Siebern died Friday at the age of 82. Another one of the “old” players on the cusp of my introduction to baseball. You know how you’re such a terrible judge of age when you’re a kid? This card comes from the 1968 set, when Siebern was 32 and in the last season of his Major […]

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!
Read the full article →

In case you were wondering…

Because I can...

Don’t you find it amazing the chutzpah teams have to have to be ready to don championship shirts and hats immediately following the clinching game? Strikes me as inviting trouble. Of course, when you think about it, half the time it doesn’t work out. Be sociable, share the Bookshelf! Tweet

Be sociable, share the Bookshelf!
Read the full article →
script type="text/javascript"> var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-5496371-4']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();