From the category archives:

Baseball Trivia

The “personal edition.” I had two reviews appear last week: The Closer, by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey on Bookreporter.com The Cubs Quotient: How the Chicago Cubs Changed the World, by Scott Rowan in ForeWord Magazine.

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The Passover holidays have played havoc with my schedule, so there’s a lot to catch up on. First off, can you remember those Bicentennial Minutes that CBS used to broadcast in the months leading up to the big celebration? Well, Dan Epstein, author of the new Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial […]

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Over the years, I’ve expressed disappointment in the changing times, when magazines about the fantasy baseball outnumber those about the “regular” game. Fantasy Sports is a multi-billion dollar business. With so much at stake, there have to be rules and governing bodies, otherwise there’s chaos. From time to time, I try to get with the […]

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This it the time of year when the baseball media offer their considered opinions on their favorite prospects. Sometimes they’re spot on, other times, not so much. So I thought, why not apply this to the upcoming “rookie crop” of baseball books? That is, titles that are making their debuts in 2014 — no reprints/reissues […]

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The beverage, not the drug. Honestly, get your mind out of the gutter. From Mark Aubrey, my “proofreader,” comes this item on eBay: “1967 Coke Cap RARE PASSOVER variation Willie Stargell Pittsburgh Pirates HOFer” Asking price: $75. When I was a kid growing up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, there was a kosher […]

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Sometimes I wish publishers would be a little more detail-oriented when sending review copies. Most recently I have received three copies of Ben Bradlee Jr.’s The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams, and two of Steve Rushin’s The 34-Ton Bat. So in an effort to share the wealth (and not clutter up the house […]

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Steve Rushin was a guest on Milwaukee’s WUWM to discuss his new book,  The 34-Ton Bat: The Story of Baseball as Told Through Bobble Heads, Cracker Jacks, Jock Straps, Eye Black, and 375 Other Strange and Unforgettable Objects. You can read about and listen to his appearance here. Missed this one from Nov. 29: On […]

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Can I get a ruling?

November 20, 2013 · 2 comments

Don’t know if it’s the recent attention paid to poor umpiring or the call for expanded use of video replays, but several books published over the past year or so take up the topic of rules interpretation. These books point out that the official rule book is kind of dry; the “fun” part comes in […]

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Brought to you by the folks at Mental Floss, the magazine that gave me my first national exposure and cover story (right). Have these World Series matchups ever happened? (Not to brag but I aced it.) The Baseball Card Brand Quiz (a lot tougher; ugh, I only scored 64%, which was slightly higher than the […]

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Review: The 34-Ton Bat

October 21, 2013 · 0 comments

The Killeen (TX) Daily Herald posted this review of Steve Rushin’s new title, The 34-Ton Bat: The Story of Baseball as Told Through Bobbleheads, Cracker Jacks, Jockstraps, Eye Black, and 375 Other Strange and Unforgettable Objects. (Is it just me or are these subtitles getting longer and longer?) I’ve started reading this one and am […]

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Missed it by that much

October 15, 2013 · 1 comment

Took a perfect game into the ninth inning, but lost it with one out. Retired 22 questions in a row before erring on the next to last one in this (Boston-based) Christian Science Monitor quiz about the Red Sox.  

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Actually, I found this on the top shelf of the linen closest but the principle is the same. This comes from the era when Trivial Pursuit was a big hit: Typical card: (Note the typo in the last question. See? It’s not just me.) Reminds me of a fold-out I recently tossed out (believe it […]

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Bits and pieces, Feb. 4

February 4, 2013 · 0 comments

Value Over Replacement Grit offers a baseball-themed crossword puzzle. At the risk of appearing sexist, I must say this is the first time I’ve encountered a woman who collects baseball cards with such a passion as Cee Angi, who wrote this mournful “Requiem for the 00s: The Decline of Topps Baseball Cards,”  in which she […]

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Literary birthday greetings: 1919 – Jackie Robinson, infielder; All-Star, Hall of Famer Since I addressed this last year — and there are soooo many books about Robinson — I just thought I’d link to that entry for everyone’s convenience. 1931 – Hank Aguirre, pitcher; All-Star 1931 – Ernie Banks, infielder; All-Star, Hall of Famer 1947 […]

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I will always have a soft spot for Mental Floss, the publication that assigned me my first cover story (which you can read here from a very early attempt at a website. I’m amazed it’s still available.) So here’s their latest baseball quiz, with Jeter as the focus. I missed four of the 11 players

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(Maybe that should be “Don’t Taft me, bro.”) Our favorite NPR program featured piece of baseball this trivia in its “Not My Job” segment with guest Duke Fatir of The Four Tops. The three questions all had to do with “bottoms” (heh). * * * PETER SAGAL: Last question, President William Howard Taft had the […]

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Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life, by Evander Lomke and Martin Rowe. Paul Dry Books, 2011. As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been fascinated by cricket longer than I can remember. During a visit to Montreal when I was 10, I recall buying a small British import at a WH Smith […]

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I contributed a couple of pieces to Mental Floss (including the July-Aug. 2002 cover story for “The Spy Issue”) when they were just knee-high to more established magazines. So I have a soft spot for the publication even if they don’t answer my calls anymore (sniff, sniff). They’ve greatly expanded and now offer a bunch […]

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Do the math

June 23, 2011 · 0 comments

Found this quiz created Prof. Stephen R. Shalom from the William Paterson University via a link on the Mental Floss blog. Enjoy. There was a question about football, but I removed it as per my “mission statement.” * * * These are not your standard sports trivia questions. To answer these you’ll need to know […]

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