About your host


Greetings, everybody. rothkap0018.jpg

Formerly a sports and features editor for a weekly New Jersey publication, I’m also a freelance writer, specializing in book reviews — primarily baseball-related — as well as pop culture. My work has appeared in such publications as Baseball America, New York Sportscene, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Mental Floss, ForeWord Magazine, January Magazine, E Magazine, Irish America, and American Book Review, among others.

I have also served as editor for the Society for American Baseball Research’s Bibliography Committee Newsletter, now sadly defunct.

Most of the articles on this blog are my own, with other items and reviews of note included for your interest and reference.

My first book — 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die — was published by the University of Nebraska Press in the spring of 2013. The second — The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games — came out two years later via Sports Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse. Continuing the two-year cycle, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War, also from Sports Publishing, is scheduled for release in April 2017.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back often, and drop a comment in the box.

Visit me on Facebook and become a fan of the site.


Be Sociable, Share!
  • Always wanted to join SABR. Money though is typically an issue for me.

  • * Dan Frank

    Just a question. I have a collection of every Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the year issue. The collection is currently on display at Smith Memorial Library at Chautauqua Institution in western New York State and is one part of my overall Franksonian exhibit which contains many more sports artifacts. The quality ranges from fair to good to mint. I also have the first SI issue (8/16/54) and this issue is in mint condition. I have pictures of the display but could take a more formal picture of each if necessary. How can I go about getting this collection appraised so that I can properly insure it?
    Thank you for your assistance.

    Dan Frank

    (RK: If anyone has a suggestion, please email me and I’ll pass along the information to Mr. Frank.)

  • Hi, Ron. I just discovered your website (it’s great!) and wanted to let you know that you really should have my baseball novel on it! Not that I am prejudiced toward it (which I am, of course), but I will let the record (to use a baseball term) speak for itself: On its front cover is a blurb by Larry King plus other blurbs on the back from Tim McCarver, Chris Berman, Fay Vincent, Marty Appel, Josh Prager, and the like; it has sold nearly 20,000 copies so far, in both hardcover and pb; it is under film option; it is a delightful family story, love story, and baseball story; and it has evoked thousands of e-mails from across the country. FYI, it is titled ONCE UPON A FASTBALL, published by Kensington. It is centered around the Bobby Thomson/Ralph Branca 1951 pennant game and three other unforgettable games in baseball history. In all immodesty, a great read! I do hope you will include it on your website and tell all your loyal fans about it! Many thanks, Bob Mitchell.

  • Shane MacKean

    Dear Mr Kaplan,
    I happened on your website while researching books on baseball which my family might give me for birthday presents.  I’m English, but caught the baseball bug back in ’77 when visiting the States for the first time.  I enjoyed the video of your attendance at a Yankee fantasy camp: I’ve been promising myself an Orioles fantasy camp for years.  I will certainly revisit your site.
    Yours ever,
    Shane MacKean  

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Mr. MacKean. You might ask you parents for Craig Robinson’s new book, Flip Flop Fly Ball. Like you,, He’s an Englishman who fell in love with the game and tells a great story, supplemented by fascinating “infographics.”

  • Bosoxdad

    Hi Ron — Great hanging out with you this weekend at the baseball retreat.  It was a tour de force. Looking forward to continuing our dialogue.  You might check out http://www.theizzyproject.blogspot.com.

    Best wishes

  • Ron_Kaplan

    Thanks, Paul, same here. Planning a series of posts on the other blog over the next few days. Keep in touch,


  • Mark Kissinger

    Ron,  I came across your site while searching for Dick Perez “Immortals”.  I’m trying to find a baseball book that I read an article about – maybe a year or so ago.  It was advertised as a coffee table baseball book , very expensive – I believe it was over $1,000 .  If I remember correctly, it resembled a base.  Do you know the name or publisher/author of this book.

  • Ron_Kaplan

    Thanks for the note, Mark: I think this is what you’re looking for:



    The “Derek Jeter edition” was listed at $4,500.

script type="text/javascript"> var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-5496371-4']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();