Made one of my occasional visits to Amazon for the purpose of seeing what new and exciting baseball titles or coming in the next several months. Here’s a sampling of some, excluding, as usual — although with one major exception — books for younger readers.
In nor particular order…
* Baseball Explained. Phillip Mahoney, McFarland, 8/31/2014. Always Interested in the different ways people “get” baseball. How it’s presented can make all the difference between a developing a life-long relationship with the game, or finding it dull.
*Jeter Unfiltered. Derek Jeter and Christopher Anderson.Gallery/Jeter Publishing, 2014.
Derek Jeter: Excellence and Elegance. Tyler Kepner/NY Times. Triumph Books, 12/12014.
With the future Hall of Famer is retiring at the ending of this season, it’s not surprising to finally get what fans can only hope is a definitive account. One of the knock’s about him is that he’s been very “ordinary” and sparse with his remarks, so I’ll be really interested to see just how “unfiltered” he is. This has the potential to be a NY Times best-seller. All due respect, if reliever Mariano Rivera can do it, Jeter — an everyday player, a major endorsement figure, and basically the “face” of the franchise — seems like a lock. Unless the book is s tremendous disappointment.
Judging solely by the description, Excellence and Elegance seems to be a revised edition of Derek Jeter: From the pages of The New York Times, which was originally published in 2011 by Abrams.
* Baltimore Orioles: 60 Years. Jim Henneman, Insight Editions, 12/16/2014. Anniversaries often make for great books.
* Frank Robinson: A Baseball Biography. John C. Skipper, McFarland, 10/31/2014. It’s been awhile wince we’ve had a non-Frank Robinson authored book about Frank Robinson. One of the underrated players in the game, despite his Hall of Fame inclusion.
* From the Babe to the Beards: The Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Bill Nowlin, Jim Prime, Sports Publishing, 10/7/2014. Sounds like a nice collection by a couple of veteran authors who are deeply invested in all things Red Sox.
* Winning in Both Leagues: Reflections from Baseball’s Front Office. Frank Cashen. University of Nebraska Press, 9/1/2014. As one who did indeed work in both leagues, and spanning the baseball “generations” of pre- and post-free agency, it will be interesting to see what the successful general manager has to say.
* Bats, Balls and Hollywood Stars: Hollywood’s Love Affair With Baseball. Joe Siegman, Educators Intl. Pr Inc, 9/5/2014. What baseball fan doesn’t enjoy seeing his favorite actor take a turn at the plate? Some are obviously better than others (Tom Selleck, Jon Hamm), but it’s all good. I believe that’s Dean Martin on the cover, but it almost looks like a poor Photoshopped illo.
* Joe Black: More than a Dodger. S.l.: Martha Jo Black, Chuck Schoffner. Chicago Review Press, 2/1/2015. An overlooked member of the Boys of Summer, written by his daughter.
* Pinstripe Pride: The Inside Story of the New York Yankees. Marty Appel, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015. A kid-friendly version of his excellent Pinstripe Empire.
* Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Baseball. Howard Bryant. Philomel, 2015. If Bryant writes, it, I’ll read it. Sounds like a departure from his previous baseball books on Hank Aaron and the problems of the game in Boston.
* Marvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary. Robert F. Burk. University of Illinois Press, 2015. Long overdue. Burk is the author of Never Just a Game and Much More Than Just a Game, two volumes about players and owners prior to and after 1921.
* Baseball Maverick. Steve Kettmann Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2015. Moneyball for Bill Beane, the previously-mentioned Cashen title, and now this one on Sandy Alderson, whose held down several titles in the game on a team and league level.
* Unbreakable: The 25 Most Unapproachable Records in Baseball. James R. Baehler. Sports Publishing, 9/2/2014. That’s what they said about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, remember? By the way, Jason Stark has a fun chapter in his new book, Wild Pitches, about “The Best Records in Baseball.”
* Painting the Corners Again: Off-Center Baseball Fiction. Bob Weintraub, Yucca Publishing, 2015.
Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural. Rick Wilber. Night Shade Books, 2014.
Books like these can be pretty hit-or-miss, pardon the phrase. Haven’t seen the like since Baseball Fantastic and Japanese Baseball and Other Stories — both Kinsella products — came out in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
So what do you think? Which of these books are you most looking forward to?