Bits and pieces, April 11 (Update)

April 11, 2014

A chance to look over the overlooked.

* Not exactly “Throwback Thursday,” but this piece on the Peoria Journal Star website is an appreciation for The Bronx Zoo, published by relief pitcher Sparky Lyle (then with the NY Yankees) and Peter Golenbock.

* And another one from PJS about Double Play, a memoir written by Tampa Bay Rays’ star Ben Zobrist and his wife, Julianne.

* Author signings:

  • Former Contra Costa Times sports reporter and columnist Gary Peterson will sign copies of his new book Battle of the Bay: Bashing A’s, Thrilling Giants, and the Earthquake World Series” from 1 to 3 p.m. April 14 at Rocco’s Pizzeria & Ristorante, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek.
  • Vince McKee, author of Jacobs Field, a new book looking back at the first 20 years of Indians baseball, will be at Visible Voice, 1023 Kenilworth Ave., Cleveland, on Friday, April 11, 7-9 p.m., and 198 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, on Saturday, April 12,  2-4 p.m.

* Ben Bradlee Jr.was recently at an event on Polk County, Maryland, to discuss his recent biography about Ted Williams.

* Barbara Gregorich, author Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball was the featured speaker at a recent program with the same title.

* Even though his event has passed, you can still read this piece about Howard Bryant and his bio, The Last Hero A Life of Henry Aaron by Bryant, Howard, in recognition of the slugger’s 715th home run, 40 years ago last Tuesday.

* I read Doug Harvey’s new memoir They Called Me God (a review of this, along with Al Clark’s Called Out But Safe, will appear on later this month) and I had a lot of problems with it. A lot. At a time when just about anything can be verified or discredited with a few on-line searches, Harvey wrote in the broadest generalities, without much regard to exactitude. That’s the basis of this piece from the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal.

* Clark was a guest on WJZ, CBS’ affiliate in Baltimore. Kind of appropriate: the cover of his book depicts him ejecting Cal Ripken Jr., who was only tossed twice in his 21-year career.

* I’ve said it before, and doubtless will say it many more time: with all the new books out, I don’t know why writers continue to refer to titles published the previous year. In this piece from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, two of the four books mentioned came out in 2013, one of them From First To Worst: The New York Mets, 1973-1977, Who’s on Worst?: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History by my NJ neighbor Filip Bondy (with whom I appeared at an event out our local public library). With all due respect, FWTF Who’s on Worst, while a fun read, was not one of the big buzzers of the year. I don’t know what the criteria is for items like this; maybe it’s first come, first served as far as books arriving at the newspaper. (Thanks to the commenters who pointed out the incorrect titles. How embarrassing.)

* Although I normally don’t write about kids’ books, the least I can do is post a link to this Washington Post piece featuring a couple of titles.

* George Will, author of the current (as of this writing) best-selling baseball title on Amazon, was a recent guest on WGN radio with hosts Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano.

* It’s taken awhile, but some of the older classic titles are catching up to the digital age. Case in point: Robert Whiting’s The Chrysanthemum and the Bat, first published in 1977.

* Future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera worked on two versions of his autobiography, including one for younger readers. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are plans for Spanish-language versions as well.

* Here come the annual baseball review roundups, (culled mostly from press releases, it seems to me): the latest from Daily Beast and Epoch Times.

* Finally, here’s catching up with Tom Hoffarth’s 30-in-30series of baseball book reviews:

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