From the category archives:

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget: Wally Moon

February 14, 2018 · 0 comments

If ever there were a ballpark designed to assist a player, that would be the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Dodgers’ first home after the abandoned Brooklyn for Wally Moon. From the NY Times‘ obituary by Richard Goldstein: Its dimensions were bizarrely suited for baseball. The wall behind right-center field was some 440 feet from home […]

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The veteran actor, perhaps best known for his role as Martin Crane, the father on Fraiser, died on Feb. 4 at the age of 78. Mahoney was one of those character actors you always recognize but rarely remember the name. To me, his greatest turn as as Chicago White Sox manager Kid Gleason in the […]

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It’s unfortunate, but I’m betting the obituaries for Oscar Gamble will lead off with something noting the huge Afro he sported in his latter player days. The 17-year veteran, who put in service with seven teams, died today at the age of 68. In addition to having MVP hair, Gamble — who played for the […]

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Previous entries to the Bookshelf on Dr. King include this piece on his baseball connections. And another here. And this one, titled “Baseball and Dr. King.” Two books published in 2017  — The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age and One Nation Under Baseball: How the […]

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Lest We Forget: Doug Harvey

January 15, 2018

The legendary umpire, who did not lack for self-assurance, passed away Saturday at the age of 87. Doug Harvey, who had been in failing health for a few years, published They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived with veteran baseball journalist Peter Golenbock in 2014. I reviewed that one, along with Al […]

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Skip to the relevant part at about 50 seconds…

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Lest we forget: Bob Bailey

January 10, 2018

Sadly, the older we get the more we lose the ballplayers we followed when we were kids. The latest in this group is Bob Bailey, a 17-year veteran who made his debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1962 at the age of 19. He went on to play for the LA Dodgers, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati […]

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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… Let’s start off with a little shameless self-promotion: Paul Hagen offers this piece — “Looking back […]

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If African-American ballplayers had a terrible go of it, can you imagine what female African-American ballplayers had to deal with? From the New York Times‘ obituary by Daniel E. Slotnick Mamie Johnson, one of a handful of women to play in baseball’s Negro leagues in the early 1950s — and the only one known to […]

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If not for the late pitcher, we wouldn’t have any books about 61, Roger Maris, or asterisks. Stallard passed away Dec. 7 at the age of 80. Here’s the NY Times obituary from Richard Goldstein. After making his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1960, Stallard — a 6’5 righty — also played for […]

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Back on schedule… By now most of you are familiar with my caveats, so I’ll just mention them briefly: The list includes only print editions of books; calendars (even though Amazon includes them on their lists), no audiobooks (as much as I enjoy them), and no kindle (because I’m old school). Second, since the rankings […]

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I recently posted about the passing of the venerable author/editor. At the time, I was still waiting for The New York Times to weigh in. That came on Nov. 9 in this obituary by Daniel E. Slotnik.

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The last member of The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship — David Halberstam’s excellent project on  baseball and life published in 2011 — passed away yesterday at the age of 99. A Hall of Fame second baseman who batted .288 with  288 home runs, and 1,247 RBIs, Doerr played his entire career (1937-51) with […]

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Lest we forget: Ray Robinson

November 2, 2017

Ray Robinson was among the last of his generation of sportswriters and authors. I had the pleasure of speaking with him on several occasions in my capacity as sports editor for the NJ Jewish News. He passed away yesterday at the age of 96. Marty Appel, shown with Robinson (right) at the dedication of a […]

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Lest we forget: Bob Motley

September 16, 2017

Bob Motley, the last surviving Negro Leagues umpire, passed away Thursday at the age of 94. I had posted about Motley when he turned 91. He was the author of Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars: True Tales of Breaking Barriers, Umpiring Baseball Legends, and Wild Adventures in the Negro Leagues, which he co-wrote with […]

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The baseball world lost two alumni recently with the passings of Don Baylor and Darren Daulton, both succumbing to the ravages of cancer. Baylor, a fierce and fearsome batter who hit 338 home runs and drove in 1,276 runs in a 19-year career (Angels, Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, As, and Twins), died early this morning. He […]

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The only man to be a member of a World Series winner (Milwaukee Brewers, 1957) and NBA championship (Boston Celtics, 1958-61) died on Tuesday at the age of 86. Gene Conley, a three-time All-Star, compiled a record of 91-96 in 11 big league seasons. he played for the Braves in 1952 when they were still […]

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Now it’s getting serious. Now we’re getting the the men who were playing when I was growing up. Sad. Jim Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher who became a U.S. Senator, died yesterday at the age of 85. Here’s the New York Times‘ obituary by Richard Goldstein. Bunning pitched a perfect game against the New […]

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The New York Times ran rather substantial obituaries on two baseball figures a few days ago, both by Richard Goldstein, himself a baseball author. Sam Mele, a baseball life, died on May 1 at the age of 95. Pretty smart guy: he attended Yale and NYU. Here’s his page from BaseballReference.com. I remember him from […]

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The New York Times obituary says the late actor was best known for his role as a southern sheriff in a couple of James Bond movies. Not for me. For me, Clifton was best known for his role as the penurious Charles A. Comiskey, owner of the Chicago White Sox, in Eight Men Out (which […]

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