About a year ago, I posted about the different covers for Bernard Malamud’s The Natural; they’re so pretty

Here’s something similar about the late Jimmy Breslin’s 1964 release, Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met’s First Year, beginning with the original hardcover edition. I can’t vouch for the chronological order of the rest.

Here’s The New York Times obituary for Breslin, and an interesting backstory about how they prepare some of obits.

Image result for can't anybody here play this game Image result for can't anybody here play this game
Image result for can't anybody here play this game Image result for can't anybody here play this game
Image result for can't anybody here play this game Image result for can't anybody here play this game, penguin

 

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We’re getting to the point where a bunch of new titles are hitting the bookstores. Herewith a brief roundup.

Image result for appel, stengelNew York Sports Day posted this one on Marty Appel’s engaging new project, Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character. They also did this one on Shawn Krest’s Baseball Meat Market: The Stories Behind the Best and Worst Trades in History.

David Ross’ new memoir, Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, is getting the movie treatment? No offense, but David Ross? All right, it’s a storybook ending, but still…

The Denver Post offers a story on Lost Ballparks by Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos, another photo book paying tribute to the happy places of our (and our parents’ and grandparents’) youth.

From For the Win: “Former MTV anchor Tabitha Soren appeared at the Phoenix Art Museum on [March 15] to discuss her new career in photography and share some of the techniques endeavored and lessons learned in the course of spending 13 years documenting the Oakland A’s 2002 MLB draft class for her book, Fantasy Life: Baseball and the American Dream.”

Baseball Reflections posted this review of Handsome Ransom Jackson: Accidental Big Leaguer, a memoir by the ballplayer with the assistance of Gaylon H. White.

The Chicago Tribune posted this excerpt from Tom Verducci’s The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse.

Haven’t read it myself, but I have not been hearing great things about Aubrey Huff’s memoir, titled Baseball Junkie: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of a World Series Champion.

Sports-Central.org put up this review of Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s, by Scott Turbow.

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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. Image result for leo durocher baseball's prodigal sonThe Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  2. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  3. Baseball Prospectus 2017
  4. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel and Tom Brown (April 18)
  5. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  6. Ballplayer, by Chipper Jones with Carroll Rogers Walton
  7. Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son, by Paul Dickson*
  8. The Plan: Epstein, Maddon, and the Audacious Blueprint for a Cubs Dynasty, by David Kaplan*
  9. Baseball America 2017 Prospect Handbook: Rankings and Reports of the Best Young Talent in Baseball
  10. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood

* Making its “debut” on this list.

Image result for jimmy breslin, metshttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f5/CantAnybodyHerePlayThisGame.jpg/220px-CantAnybodyHerePlayThisGame.jpgHonorable mention: I don’t include Kindle books here, but I failed to note the passing of the legendary newspaperman, Jimmy Breslin, who died on March 19 at the age of 88. Lest we forget, he wrote one of the first — and still the best — books about the New York Mets in Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met’s First Year, originally published in 1964. The Kindle version ranked #3 among baseball best-sellers as of this posting.

The Cubs are back in prominence with three books in the top 10, four if you include Dickson’s new bio on their skipper, Leo Durocher

MORE lists: Amazon has started a couple of new ones, including “Hot New Releases” and “Most Wished For.” A look at the top three in each, which have remained the same since last week:

Hot New Releases

  1. Cubs Way
  2. Teammate
  3. Ballplayer

Most Wished For

  1. Cubs Way
  2. Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s, by Scott Turbow
  3. Teammate

NY Times monthly sports best-seller list: No baseball books in the March rolls.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 1,183,549; last time: 874,926. My forthcoming Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War currently ranks 876,844, up from the last check two weeks ago at 1,095,826.

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.

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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. Image result for dynastic, bombasticBaseball Prospectus 2017
  2. Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s, by Jason Turbow *
  3. Baseball America 2017 Prospect Handbook: Rankings and Reports of the Best Young Talent in Baseball
  4. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  5. Ballplayer, by Chipper Jones with Carroll Rogers Walton
  6. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  7. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  8. 2017 Baseball Forecaster: & Encyclopedia of Fanalytics, by Ron Shandler
  9. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel and Tom Brown (April 18)
  10. The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life, by Mike Methany with Jerry B. Jenkins

Jason Turbow, who published The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime with Michael Duca in 2010, is back with a new look at the colorful Oakland As of the early 1970s. Is it my imagination, or as boomers get older the “nostalgia years” move along with them? It’s no longer  the events, teams, and players of the 1950-60s, it seems, getting most of the recent attention.

MORE lists: Amazon has started a couple of new ones, including “Hot New Releases” and “Most Wished For.” A look at the top three in each, which have remained the same since last week:

Hot New Releases

  1. Baseball Prospectus 2017
  2. Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic
  3. Baseball America Prospect Guide

Most Wished For

  1. Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic
  2. Smart Baseball, by Keith Law
  3. The Cubs Way

NY Times monthly sports best-seller list: No baseball books in the March rolls.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 874,926; last week: 492,385. My forthcoming Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War currently ranks 1,095,826, down from last week’s 869,259.

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.

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‘Tis the season…

March 6, 2017 · 0 comments

Not only is baseball season upon us, but baseball book season is upon us as demonstrated by the bouquet that arrived since Friday.

My apologies, dear mail carrier.

So in an attempt to catch up a bit…

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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. Image result for baseball junkie aubrey huffBaseball Prospectus 2017
  2. Baseball America 2017 Prospect Handbook: Rankings and Reports of the Best Young Talent in Baseball
  3. Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz with Michael Holley *
  4. 2017 Baseball Forecaster: & Encyclopedia of Fanalytics, by Ron Shandler
  5. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  6. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  7. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  8. 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
  9. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel and Tom Brown (April 18)
  10. Baseball Junkie, by Aubrey Huff with Stephen Cassar *

* Making its debut on the Bookshelf Best-Seller List

Aubrey Huff has a tragic but inspiring tale to tell in his new memoir. But another book by David Ortiz? Actually I take that back; it’s hard to believe Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits came out 10 years ago. Seems like only yesterday…

MORE lists: Amazon has started a couple of new ones, including “Hot New Releases” and “Most Wished For.” A look at the top three in each, which have remained the same since last week:

Hot New Releases

  1. Baseball Prospectus 2017
  2. Baseball America Prospect Guide
  3. Papi

Most Wished For

  1. The Cubs Way
  2. Smart Baseball
  3. Moneyball

NY Times monthly sports best-seller list: No baseball books in the March rolls.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 492,385; last week: 468,697. Kind of expecting/hoping this will be the “new norm” as we head towards the beginning of the new season. My forthcoming Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War currently ranks 869,259, up from last week’s 1,298,415 and, in all humility, I expect that to improve in the weeks ahead as it garners a bit of media attention.

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.

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https://blog-cdn.feedspot.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/baseball-100-transparent_216px.pngThe Baseball Bookshelf was recently designated as one of the top 100 Baseball Blogs by Feedspot.com. Woo-hoo.

Here’s the “official notification”:

Hi Ron,

My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Baseball Blogs on the web.

I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Baseball Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

According to the site, “These blogs are ranked based on following criteria

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review”

The top five spots went to MLB.com, MLB Trade Rumors, Frangraphs, Milb.com, and Yardbaker. The Bookshelf came in at #51 and was described as “A blog for news, reviews, previews, and interviews about baseball lit and other items of pop culture interest. Bringing news about baseball publications and other media to a discerning audience.” Considering how many hundreds of baseball sites there must be, I consider this high praise indeed.

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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. Image result for rick ankiel, bookBaseball Prospectus 2017
  2. Baseball America 2017 Prospect Handbook: Rankings and Reports of the Best Young Talent in Baseball (Feb. 28)
  3. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel and Tom Brown (April 18) *
  4. 2017 Baseball Forecaster: & Encyclopedia of Fanalytics by Ron Shandler
  5. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  6. Do You Want to Work in Baseball?: Advice to acquire employment in MLB and mentorship in Scouting and Player Development, by Bill Geivett
  7. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  8. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  9. The Fantasy Baseball Black Book 2017 Edition, by Joe Pasapia
  10. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yaeger

* Making its debut on the Bookshelf Best-Seller List

Rick Ankiel, who became an legend for unfortunate reasons when he fell apart during a pitching performance for the St. Louis Cardinals and then came back as an outfielder for a brief time, tells his interesting story in book form. He was the subject of a Pat Jordan profile in The New York Times Magazine in 2001.

Two Cubs titles return to the list.

MORE lists: Amazon has started a couple of new ones, including “Hot New Releases” and “Most Wished For.” A look at the top three in each, which have remained the same since last week:

Hot New Releases

  1. Baseball Prospectus 2017
  2. Baseball America Prospect Guide
  3. The Phenom

Most Wished For

  1. Baseball Prospectus
  2. Moneyball
  3. The Cubs Way

NY Times monthly sports best-seller list: No baseball books listed in the February rolls.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 468,697; last week: 942,716. The usual up-and-down. I will be appearing on a couple of podcasts in the not-too-distant future, so that might bump up sales a tad. The reverse is true for my forthcoming Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War currently ranks 1,298,415, down from last week’s 831,109.

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.

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Extra, extra… or not

February 20, 2017 · 0 comments

Been shirking my duties as a blogger here for any number of reasons: working on my own book, looking for full-time work, other blogs, ranting on Facebook (not necessarily in that order). But one of the things I wanted to mention was the misguided attempt by MLB to try to cater to people who maybe shouldn’t be watching baseball in the first place.

Ihttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51vOT2NS0YL._AC_US160_.jpgf you can’ stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. And if you can’t stand extra innings, don’t come out to the ballpark or watch. In fact, when it comes to the latter, you are the master of your domain; simply turn it off or change the channel.

Baseball is too slow, some say. You know what? That’s one of the selling points. A nice leisurely get-together with family and friends on a warm summer’s evening. Perhaps no time limits make things less dramatic. Try telling that to the nail-biters when their team is down to their last at-bat with men on base and trailing.

I used to track games at Mets and Yankees games for STATS Inc. And since I didn’t drive to the ballparks, I had to get out of there in time to make the last bus or train home to New Jersey. Once the clock struck 10:30 or so, I started to sweat. Same if the game went into extras. But I would never want to see the likes of what they’re suggesting: putting a runner on second to start the inning. Ugh. Look at all the fun contests there have been, and the pride in saying you saw the whole thing, either in person or on the tube.

Here is one take on the ridiculousness of such a plan.

According to the writer,

The open-ended nature of extra-innings contests fueled both record books and literary imaginations. W.P. Kinsella’s novel “The Iowa Baseball Confederacy” was about a game that lasted more than 2,000 innings. The pro baseball record is 33, for a 1981 contest between minor league affiliates of the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. That game inspired the book “Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game,” by Dan Barry, a columnist for The New York Times.

Here’s another commentary, courtesy of John Thorn, official MLB historian. And, of course, the Times has to weigh in. And The Sporting News, formerly known as the “bible of baseball” before things went south, which calls the idea “extra dumb.”

Although I will say that one bad thing about extra innings is that it has lead to a decided lack of imagination when it comes to coming up with book titles.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51364op+HbL._AC_US160_.jpg https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51N0QXM2VBL._AC_US160_.jpg https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/512C7spDGKL._AC_US160_.jpg
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/5117-S6b2mL._AC_US160_.jpg https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51ljhxszpgL._AC_US160_.jpg https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51zIIhLupYL._AC_US160_.jpg
 https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51rqi4YpbFL._AC_US160_.jpg https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41EgVTidwPL._AC_US160_.jpg  https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51kzl7MMntL._AC_US160_.jpg
 https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51072i3JFLL._AC_US160_.jpg https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/5114oJsa9ML._AC_US160_.jpg https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51GWu0jYz2L._AC_US160_.jpg

 

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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. https://d1vxgwos21rroi.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/imagecache/product_full/MLBA17_200w_0.jpgBaseball Prospectus 2017
  2. Baseball America 2017 Prospect Handbook: Rankings and Reports of the Best Young Talent in Baseball (Feb. 28)
  3. 2017 Baseball Forecaster: & Encyclopedia of Fanalytics by Ron Shandler
  4. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  5. Ballplayer, by Chipper Jones with Carroll Rogers Walton
  6. The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life, by Mick Matheny with Jerry Jenkins
  7. Coaching Youth Baseball the Ripken Way, by Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken with Scott Lowe
  8. The Fantasy Baseball Black Book 2017 Edition, by Joe Pasapia
  9. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  10. 2017 Minor League Baseball Analyst, by Jeremy Deloney

* Making its debut on the Bookshelf Best-Seller List

The honeymoon is over. For the first time in quite awhile, no Cubs books. About half of the titles seemed to be concerned with putting your fantasy team together. A couple of others consider baseball as taught to young people.

MORE lists: Amazon has started a couple of new ones, including “Hot New Releases” and “Most Wished For.” A look at the top three in each, which have remained the same since last week:

Hot New Releases

  1. Baseball Prospectus 2017
  2. Baseball America Prospect Guide
  3. Baseball Prospectus 2017 (Kindle)

Most Wished For

  1. Baseball Prospectus
  2. The Cubs Way
  3. Moneyball

NY Times monthly sports best-seller list: No baseball books listed in the February rolls.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 942,716; last week: 481,932. The usual up-and-down. I will be appearing on a couple of podcasts in the not-too-distant future, so that might bump up sales a tad. The reverse is true for my forthcoming Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War currently ranks 831,109, up from last week’s 1,047,353.

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!

{ 0 comments }

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. https://d1vxgwos21rroi.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/imagecache/product_full/MLBA17_200w_0.jpgBaseball Prospectus 2017
  2. 2017 Baseball Forecaster: & Encyclopedia of Fanalytics by Ron Shandler
  3. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  4. Sports Illustrated Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Champions Commemorative Issue
  5. 2017 Minor League Baseball Analyst, by Jeremy Deloney *
  6. Teammate: My Life in Baseball, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  7. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Jeff Silverman
  8. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  9. The Bill James Handbook 2017
  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 (April 25)

* Making its debut on the Bookshelf Best-Seller List

Nothing new worth writing about.

MORE lists: Amazon has started a couple of new ones, including “Hot New Releases” and “Most Wished For.” A look at the top three in each, which have remained the same since last week:

Hot New Releases

  1. Baseball Prospectus 2017
  2. Baseball America Prospect Guide
  3. Baseball Prospectus 2017 (Kindle)

Most Wished For

  1. Smart Baseball
  2. Moneyball
  3. Baseball Prospectus

NY Times monthly sports best-seller list:No baseball books listed in the February rolls.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 481,932; last week: 1,124,517. Nice. I will be appearing on a couple of podcasts in the not-too-distant future, so that might bump up sales a tad. The reverse is true for my forthcoming Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War currently ranks 1,047,353, greatly down from last week’s 624,376.

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.

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When Jackie ‘met’ Hank

February 10, 2017 · 0 comments

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson‘s major league debut. Which means it’s also the 70th anniversary of the game in which he collided at first base with Hank Greenberg, playing in his final season with the Pittsburgh Pirates an ignominious release by the Detroit Tigers with which he had a Hall of Fame career. Good timing when it comes to a little shameless self-promotion in that the incident comprises a full chapter in my forthcoming book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

I won’t go into all that here. For one thing, Paul Guggenheimer does a nice job of recapping the story in this piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. For another, it gives me the chance to urge you to buy my book.

It’s in the final production stages, having gone through several rounds of editing and the insertion of the index and photos. Nothing for me to do now but wait for all the bags of money to roll in (that’s a joke, son). There are a few interviews and appearances in the works, so that’s nice. Always an exciting time for an author and it passes way too quickly.

Sadly, there’s no photo of Greenberg and Robinson together, at least none of which I’m aware. If you know of one, I’d love to hear about it.

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Baseball Best-Sellers, February 3, 2017

"Annuals"

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 […]

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Baseball Best-Sellers, January 27, 2017

"Annuals"

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 […]

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Spitball names Michael Leahy winner of Casey Award

"Ripped from today's headlines..."

Mazel tov to Michael Leahy, winner of the 2016 CASEY Award presented by Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine, as the best baseball book of the year for The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is certainly one of my all-time favorites; if I ever get a chance […]

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Welcome to the Hall; let the bios commence

2017 Title

Mazel tov to Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez on their election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. That’s the good news. The (relatively) bad news is that they played for teams in markets that don’t necessarily lend themselves to glamor and glitz. Bagwell spent his entire 15-year career with the Houston Astros. […]

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Baseball Best-Sellers, January 20, 2017

"Annuals"

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 […]

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Because you can get some very nice stuff for your (ex-)presidential bookshelf

"Ripped from today's headlines..."

The Cubs visited the White House today. How cool is it that the president is one of their own? In what President Barack Obama said was “the last official event at the White House in my presidency,” the avowed White Sox fan was treated to quite a number of gifts from the World Series champion […]

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Bits and Pieces, Jan. 13, 2017

2011 title

Been busy finalizing my forthcoming book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War, which has severely reduced my Bookshelf time. (Even got my first blurb! Very cool.) So in attempt to play catch-up… It’s nice to have your book referenced in a story. You never know that it might […]

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Hall of Fame hosts Martin Luther King Day program

Annoucements

Monday at 9 a.m. From the posting by the Hall of Fame Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only for celebration, remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service. Join us as we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day through guided tours and museum programs, and learn about Hall of Famers […]

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