Baseball Bookshelf almanac, Jan. 31

January 31, 2013

Literary birthday greetings:

1919 – Jackie Robinson, infielder; All-Star, Hall of Famer

Since I addressed this last year — and there are soooo many books about Robinson — I just thought I’d link to that entry for everyone’s convenience.

1931 – Hank Aguirre, pitcher; All-Star

1931 – Ernie Banks, infielder; All-Star, Hall of Famer

1947 – Nolan Ryan, pitcher; All-Star, Hall of Famer

The same goes for these three gentlemen: Here’s a link to the 2011 Bookshelf entry.


1947 – Johnny Kling, catcher, manager (b. 1875)

Johnny Kling: A Baseball Biography, by Gil Bogen, McFarland, 2006

1956 – Buck Weaver, infielder (b. 1890)

The Ginger Kid: The Buck Weaver Story, by Irving Stein. Brown & Betancourt, 1992

Also on this date:

1992 – The Pittsburgh Pirates sign outfielder Barry Bonds to a one-year contract worth $4.7 million, the largest-ever one-year deal.

Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero, by Jeff Pearlman, Harper, 2006

2001 – A story in The Wall Street Journal quotes players Monte Irvin, Sal Yvars and Al Gettel, three former members of the 1951 New York Giants, as admitting that they stole catchers’ signs at the Polo Grounds to help the club overtake the 13 1/2-game lead of the Brooklyn Dodgers and win the National League pennant. Except for Yvars, all the participants will deny using the system during the three-game playoff with the Dodgers. According to the report, Bobby Thomson, whose three-run, ninth-inning home run in Game Three of the playoff won the pennant for the Giants, did not, however, steal a sign before hitting his historic home run.

The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World (Vintage), by Joshua Prager, Pantheon, 2006.

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