Burton Boxerman, co-author with his wife, Bonita, of the two-volume Jews and Baseball series published by McFarland a few years back, published this review of Larry Ruttman’s American Jews and America’s Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball in Baseball in a recent edition of the St. Louis Jewish Light.
As an ye shall receive. Yesterday I put out a request for a link to Leigh Montiville’s Wall Street Journal assessment of the best baseball fiction. Thanks to Jim Delaney for coming through. Montville, whose baseball books include biographies on Ted Williams and Babe Ruth, picked five titles, including, in order, The Brothers K, by David James Duncan; The Art of Fielding: A Novel, Chad Harbach; Bang the Drum Slowly (Second Edition), by Mark Harris; The Universal Baseball Association, by Robert Coover; and The Kid from Tomkinsville (Odyssey Classics (Odyssey Classics)), by John Tunis. Regular readers of this blog know my feelings about Fielding, so I won’t go into that again. I tried several times to get into Brothers K without success, and Tunis’ offering is one I have on my to-read list. The Coover and Harris books are included in the fiction section of 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. So batting .400 is pretty good in baseball terms.
BaseballReflections posted this assessment of Instant Baseball: The Baseball Instagrams of Brad Mangin. Mangin is a professional sports photograpehr whose work has appeared in Sports Illustrated. All due respect, I agree with the critic, who asks why people should shell out the money for the printed version when one could view the instagram shots for free. I’ll go a bit further and wonder about the future of professional photographers. If “everyone” has a smart phone with camera capabilities or a point-and-shoot, what would be the purpose of the pro? I say this with a daughter who has chosen that as a career path, so I have a pony in this race, so to speak. A few weeks ago there was a massive brawl between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks which had players and coaches practically in the stands. And what were the fans doing? Snapping pics and videos, of course.
And while this isn’t a review, per se, the fact that Sports Illustrated excerpted John Rosengren’s Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes is an implicit one. After all, if they didn’t think it was good, they wouldn’t put in the magazine.