Bits and Pieces, January 9, 2018

January 9, 2018 · 0 comments

Here we go again.

Man, is this a dull off-season or what? Aside from the Yankees getting richer with the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, what is has really rocked your socks?

SO, trying to make lemonade out of lemons…

Image result for hank greenberg in 1938Let’s start off with a little shameless self-promotion: Paul Hagen offers this piece — “Looking back at a page-turning year in baseball: Several notable books about America’s pastime were published in ’17” — on MLB.com. I was happily surprised to see that Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War was included.

From NYSportsDay, this review about Aaron Judge: The Incredible Story of the New York Yankees’ Home Run-Hitting Phenom.

From the Houston Chronicle, this preview about Hurricane Season: The Unforgettable Story of the 2017 Houston Astros and the Resilience of a City, written by one of their own, Joe Holley. In addition to being about the Astros’ remarkable campaign, “true to its title, Holley’s book will also set the team’s run against the backdrop of a city recovering from a deluge.”

Here’s a sweet story from the Grand Rapids Gazette about “Former Iowan finishes baseball story for his father who was suffering from dementia.” The book is Fathers, Sons, and the Holy Ghosts of Baseball.

Bill Jordan posted this review about A Hero All His Life, a 1996 biography about Mickey Mantle by his wife Merlyn and son Mickey, Jr. on Baseball Perspectives. Not very favorably, either: “The book lacked any real entertaining qualities. If you’re a big fan of Mickey Mantle and you want to have the perspective on his life from his closest family members, then read this book. If not, there’s no point in doing it. The family spends most of the book talking about terrible things Mickey did that left their lives in shambles and the rest of the book attempting to explain why it wasn’t his fault.”

Jordan also reviewed Murder at Fenway Park, by Troy Soos, one of my favorite writers of historical fiction. Upshot: “The work was brief and entertaining. Something that might be suitable for a holiday read or as a nice paperback to take to the beach. It doesn’t lack in story line or plot, but at times seems to confuse itself with the amount of characters it attempts to have woven into a relatively brief story.”

Two baseball biographies — Marty Appel’s Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character and Paul Dickson’s Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son — were included, somewhat incongruously, on this list of the year in books via the National Review.

Should have done this as a “Lest We Forget” piece, but Dick Enberg, one of my favorite announcers, passed away recently. I wonder what kind of bump that will do for his books like Being Ted Williams: Growing Up with a Baseball Idol. Here’s his obituary from The New York Times, contributed by Richard Sandomir. Enberg was also the host for one of my favorite TV shows, Sports Challenge.

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