Bits and pieces, June 19

June 19, 2014

bbiconYou gotta give credit to some authors. All authors, actually, but some more. For a writer to take a subject like Boots Poffenberger, a pitcher who appeared in just 57 games over and three-year Major League career which ended before he was 25, and turn it into a full-blown biography is an accomplishment. Here’s a review from the Tampa Tribune on Austin Gisriel’s book.

bbicon Can’t disagree with any of the suggestion this piece from the Desert Sun (Palm Spring, Calif.) suggests as among the best baseball books and movies.

bbiconHere’s a profile/review of Al Clark/Called Out But Safe from

bbicon And here’s a video interview/excerpt with Hal Bodley for his new book, How Baseball Explains America from

bbicon The prolific Allen Barra includes three baseball titles in this review from the Dallas Morning News site.

bbicon Another DMG-originating piece, albeit published on the MySA website, considers Dan Epstein’s Stars and Strikes.

bbicon I found this review on CBS Sports of Claudia Williams’ book about her father quite interesting. It just goes to show how one person can enjoy something and find the merits, while another (namely, me) has an entirely different perception.

bbicon Along those lines or differing opinions, awhile back I linked to this Grantland piece by Bryan Curtis on baseball book publishing. I thought it was a pretty piece — informative and entertaining — and that Curtis reported in a  straightforward manner, for better or worse, about the thought processes that go into deciding the types of book projects to take on. Evidently, the article this writer found it irksome for some reason. In addition to deconstructing the Grantland piece, “twinsbrewer” includes a lengthy critique of Josh Ostergaard’s new book, The Devil’s Snake Curve: A Fan’s Notes From Left Field, which I have yet to read.

bbicon Jay Caspian Kang published this appreciation for the late Tony Gwynn in The New Yorker.

bbicon This can’t be the entire Buffalo News review of Bill Madden’s 1954, can it? I man the rest of it must be available only to paid subscribers? If not, whaaa?

By Bill Madden
De Capo
290 pages, $25.99

By Budd Bailey

Life is good when you get to talk to your childhood heroes … and earn money from those conversations. Bill Madden knows all about that. The veteran New York Daily News baseball columnist had considered for years writing a book about the mid-1950s, when the game was going through its first major upheavals in about a half-century. “1954” is a clear-eyed look back at that time. .

In Chicago, the Cubs debuted the first African-American double play combination in history. Shortstop Ernie Banks would go on to become one of the Cubs’ all-time greats. Second baseman Gene Baker later became the first black man to manage a team in organized baseball in the 20th century when he took over in Batavia in the middle of the 1961 season.

Budd Bailey is a veteran News Sports copy editor.


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