A Hall of a lot of books

December 5, 2013

Yesterday Tyler Kepner posted this “Personal Journey Through the Hall of Fame Ballot” in which he comments on all 36 player who were eligible for listing. The New York Times does not allow their writers to vote on awards, perhaps because of some conflict of interest concerns, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have some fun anyway.

Of the three dozen who met the criteria for inclusion — 10 years in the majors and retired for five — some have not shot for a single vote (it’s considered unworthy to “waste” a vote on such a candidate who’s on the ballot with the allotted time but not the stats). But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been the subject of a book or two. These include:

  • Craig Biggio: Biggio: The Final Game by Michael Hart, Richard Justice, and Larry Dierker and The Hit Men and the Kid Who Batted Ninth: Biggio, Valentin, Vaughn & Robinson: Together Again in the Big Leagues, by David Siroty
  • Barry Bonds: Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero by Jeff Pearlman, and the neo-classic Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams
  • Roger Clemens: American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America’s Pastime; The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality, another one by Pearlman; The Rocket: Baseball Legend Roger Clemens, by Joseph Janczak; Facing Clemens: Hitters on Confronting Baseball’s Most Intimidating Pitcher, by Jonathan Mayo; and Rocket Man, by Clemens and Peter Gammon
  • Eric Gagne: Game Over: L’histoire d’Éric Gagné, Frech language book by Martin Leclerc
  • Tom Glavine: None but the Braves: A Pitcher, a Team, a Champion by Glavine, and Living on the Black: Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember by John Feinstein
  • Don Mattingly: Donnie Baseball: The Definitive Biography of Don Mattingly by Mike Shalin
  • Mark McGwire: A lot of books about McGwire were published around his record-setting year. A lot of them were for younger readers. Among the others were The Ball: Mark McGwire’s Home Run Ball and the Marketing of the American Dream by Daniel Paisner; Mark McGwire Slugger! by Rob Rain, and Mark and Me: Mark McGwire and the Truth Behind Baseball’s Worst-kept Secret by Jay McGwire (his brother)
  • Mike Mussina: See Living on the Black, above
  • Hideo Nomo: Nomo: The Tornado Who Took America by Storm by Edmon J. Rodman
  • Mike Piazza: Long Shot by Piazza and Lonnie Wheeler
  • Curt Schilling: The Best Kind of Different: Our Family’s Journey with Asperger’s Syndrome by Curt and Shonda Schilling
  • Sammy Sosa: Sammy Sosa: An Autobiography, by Sosa with Marcus Breton

Those on the ballot without adult books include Moises Alou, Jeff Bagwell, Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Luis Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Jeff Kent, Paul Lo Duca, Greg Maddux(!), Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Jack Morris, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Kenny Rogers, Richie Sexson, Lee Smith, J.T. Snow (I was sure he had a Christian-based title), Frank Thomas, Mike Timlin, Alan Trammel, and Larry Walker.

Note, I have not listed any books written specifically for children, and there are a lot of them on these “heroes.” In addition, some of the other players who are not the subject of an individual book are included in various team histories or books covering other aspects of the game.


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