When I spoke with Dan Epstein (the author from California, not the photographer for my daughter’s bat mitzva), he reminded me that the first interview he ever did for his first book, Big Hair and Plastic Grass, was for the Bookshelf (you can stroll down memory lane here). So I take full credit for his success. (Dan, you can send the check to…).
While BHAPG took an overview of the 1970s, his latest is a close-up on one watershed year. Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ’76. In addition to recapping the year on the field, Epstein looks at the pop culture of the year, including music, movies, and news events.
But for me, a lot of the fun was the secondary baseball in the form of bad trading card art, movies (The Bad News Bears), and television (bet you didn’t know that they tried to make a sitcom out of Ball Four; even with author Jim Bouton playing himself, they couldn’t make it work).
This will be a momentous year for Epstein. In addition to the new book — and this interview — he is soon to be married to his fiance, Katie Howerton. In fact, their upcoming trip for some book gigs to New York will be part of the honeymoon. I spoke with Epstein recently about his fascination with the ’70s; here is the result.