From the category archives:

Because I can…

(Posted early Saturday, but the time references refer to Friday.) The second full day began with “A Celebration of 70 Years: Jackie Robinson’s Journey,” with panelists Lee Lowenfish, author of Branch Rickey: The Ferocious Gentleman among other baseball titles; author and former NY Times columnist William C. Rhoden; and Della Britton Baeza, CEO of the […]


Let’s try this again

June 28, 2017

I know, I know. “Hey, Ron,” you say, “What’s going on? You don’t call, you don’t write…” Things have been a bit hectic since I lost my job as sports and features editor of the NJ Jewish News last September due to a corporate takeover. Although I was able to distract myself for a month […]

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Extra, extra… or not

February 20, 2017

Been shirking my duties as a blogger here for any number of reasons: working on my own book, looking for full-time work, other blogs, ranting on Facebook (not necessarily in that order). But one of the things I wanted to mention was the misguided attempt by MLB to try to cater to people who maybe […]

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I had to go to my local library site to renew some stuff and saw this: Also someone stopped by the house to have me sign a copy of 501 Baseball Books. That hasn’t happened for awhile. Sweet.  

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I’ll be the judge of that

January 6, 2017

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know I have an aversion to hyperbole. Words like “greatest” or “best” or “ever” or “forever” have always raised a red flag for me because the majority of the time, they’re not. It may be unfair because I haven’t read this one save […]

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From time to time, I’ve written about trying to “cull the herd,” i.e., getting rid of some of the hundreds and hundreds of books I’ve accumulated over the years. Despite the collection, I do not consider myself a “collector.” I know I’m never going to acquire every baseball book ever published. Not even every book […]

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That’s un-American!

December 8, 2016

Last week’s New York Times book review featured the top titles in several categories, including sports. You’d think there might be one baseball book in the mix. But you’d be wrong. Marc Tracy, who writes about college sports for the the Times, handled the assignment. His essay includes two books on high school and college […]

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But not for me…

December 2, 2016

With apologies to George and Ira Gershwin… They’re writing books on stats but not for me New ways to look at stats but not for me… In this week’s look at the top 10 baseball titles on Amazon, we have Incredible Baseball Stats by Kevin Reavy and Ryan Spaeder. To be honest, I received an […]

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(Note: I published this piece on one of my other blogs, The Worried Journalist. Just call me Double-Duty Kaplan.) When I was a kid I once got in in trouble for spending twice my allowance because I bought the latest issues of Baseball Digest and The Sporting News on the way back from running errands. […]

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As you may know, I recently became a victim of the downturn in print publishing. My weekly newspaper was bought out by another publication and while it will continue as an independent entity, the majority of staff were let go because of redundant positions. It’s a vicious cycle: the paper fires the staff and the […]

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The 2013 Jackie Robinson biopic was on this morning and the more I watch it, the more problems I have with it. Please understand, I have nothing but the utmost respect for everything Robinson and the others pioneers went through (we often hear about Robinson and Larry Doby, the first African-American to play in the […]

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Up the Amazon!

November 2, 2016

Friend of the Bookshelf James M. wrote to tell me a way to get around some of those pesky Amazon search annoyances. Thank you, sir. I tried your Amazon search for recently published “baseball” books and replicated your results with too many children’s and romance titles.  I could not find a negative filter on Amazon […]

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Hello, complaint department?

November 1, 2016

I am preparing one of those “coming down the pike” entries to let you faithful friends know what new and exciting baseball titles await you in the year ahead. Amazon is my on-line book merchant of choice because, big. But I have a couple of complaints: I think I’m pretty savvy when it comes to […]

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Crossover episode

July 19, 2016

As a “reward” for having my submission on an episode of Deadwood accepted into the Extra Hot Great canon (you can go ahead and skip to about the 37-minute mark), I got to choose a topic for an “EHG mini.” Shouldn’t surprise anyone that I found a way to combine my two favorite pastimes — sports […]

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The Dykstra debacle

July 18, 2016

As you might have noticed from my weekly posting about baseball best-sellers, I’m not overly happy that Lenny Dykstra’s new memoir, House of Nails, is doing well. It came in at No. 11 on the most recent New York Times best-seller list for non-fiction. This isn’t a case of schadenfreude. It’s that people are more […]

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Separated at birth?

June 28, 2016

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Funny, just the other day I received a copy of Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History. I suggest the authors immediately revise the book to include this… Those of you who have been reading this blog or the Baseball Bookshelf know I hate hyperbole. The use of word’s like “greatest” or […]

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Yesterday on Jeopardy: Then I sat down to do the Times‘ crossword: Crazy, man. One of my Facebook friends suggested there should be a version of Jeopardy devoted solely to the national pastime. Baseball in Jeopardy? You’re welcome.

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Jeopardy update

February 25, 2016 · 2 comments

I am a Jeopardy nut. I try to never miss an episode, much to the occasional annoyance of my family. Naturally, I’m always stoked when there’s a baseball question. At the risk of sounding judgmental, I rarely expect the brainy contestants to have sports trivia as part of their knowledge base. And when there’s an […]

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Moment’s over?

February 16, 2016

There’s a scene in the excellent baseball film Bull Durham in which Nuke LaLoosh, the prodigy pitcher, played by Tim Robbins, exults as he comes into the dugout after a strong inning of work. As he does so, his catcher, veteran baseball lifer Crash Davis, played by Kevin Costner, chews him out for all the […]

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