From the category archives:

“Oddballs”

Any parent knows your kid will have this one TV show you absolutely cannot stand, be it Barney or in my situation, Full House. My daughter is now a college graduate and we were recently near a movie theater that was screening The Man from UNCLE. Now, I remember the original series from the mid-1960s, […]

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Today marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of Mickey Mantle. And while he didn’t die from lung cancer, he and many of his fellow athletes — role models — didn’t mind picking up a few extra bucks shilling for the tobacco industry. One of the reason’s the Honus Wagner T-206 is so rare is […]

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Since I posted the first of these on a Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. These are kind of fun; it’s like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. (Actually, I never understood […]

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Been following the adventures of Brad Balukjian, who’s traveling the country in search of his baseball heroes for a book project. He was a guest on a recent edition of Slate’s excellent sports podcast, Hang Up and Listen. We had a Bookshelf Conversation prior to his departure and I hope to have another one upon his […]

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Evidently this book, according to John Thorn. In a recent column, the official historian for Major League Baseball offers what will undoubtedly be an introduction to most baseball lit fans of “The Krank — Baseball’s Rarest Book.” “The Krank: His Language and What It Means is a humorous glossary of baseball terms,” writes Thorn, referring to […]

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Another example of the “anything to separate the fans from their money” philosophy.  

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Since I posted the first of these on a Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. These are kind of fun; it’s like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. (Actually, I never understood […]

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Me neither. (Because you can put classic comics on your bookshelf.)

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Twice this week, the national pastime was part of the unofficial national quiz show. On Wednesday, the topic was teams that had never won the World Series (although perhaps it was teams that had never been in the Series; I should have kept track). One of the answers was wrong at the time of airing, […]

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Look, I’m no one to complain. I’ve had my share of shameless self-promoting. But come on, when Will Ferrell pulled off his spring training stunt of playing 10 positions for 10 teams in one day, you had to know that something was up. Sure, this gig ostensibly raised money for caner awareness. But it also […]

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I was doing an on-line search for baseball book art to incorporate into a screen-saver slide show and came across an image that looked a bit odd and familiar. Sure enough, it was not an baseball cover but a faux cover included in one of a very entertaining series of entries by Jim Baker, a […]

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This originally appeared on my other blog, but I didn’t feel like reinventing the wheel, so… How abut that kid? Joc Pederson came within one home run of winning in his very first appearance. From an ESPN story: It was Pederson who had put on the best show of the night, crushing 13 mammoth homers […]

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It goes without saying that baseball is one of the more literate and literary sports. But to gauge the “education” of teams’ fans by the comments they leave on websites or via social media is a bit silly. I don’t mean to indict an entire generation, but texting, IMs, and emails have reached a point […]

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I’ve often wondered about the people who negotiate to retrieve home run balls for the players, so thank you, Billy Witz  of the New York Times, for this fascinating piece about Yankees security guard/”collector” Eddie Fastook. How much leeway do you think Fastook has when negotiating for the piece of treasure? And if he considers […]

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Since I posted the first of these on a Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. These are kind of fun; it’s like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. (Actually, I never understood […]

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Found this on Facebook this morning via Marc Ernay, sports director at 1010 WINS: In the words of my good friend, Howard Walawitz: What kind of market study did the knobs at MLB.com do to determine that this was cutting edge, that this is what it takes to retain the interest of younger fans? If […]

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WTF is up with that new and very creepy KFC commercial starring the resurrected Col. Sanders? “…Because if there’s two things I’m certain of, it’s that baseball will always be America’s number one sport, free from corruption, scandal, and cheating of any kind. And two, the summer meal featuring my Kentucky Fried Chicken tastes better […]

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Sometimes I’ll get an email from a writer whom I’ve interviewed for a Bookshelf Conversation, thanking me for the opportunity. Sometimes I get nothing. Meh; what are you gonna do? I just enjoy chatting about the back-story stuff, the creative process. Occasionally you get something like this. Thank you, Fred Harris.

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The Yog turns 90 today, God bless. I ran this piece four years ago, listing several titles about and (ostensibly) by the Hall of Famer. Except for the age, the info remains valid except for the addition of my NJ neighbor Harvey Araton‘s excellent book, Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball’s Greatest […]

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Guess who has a new tune out about baseball? The song has been getting mixed reviews. Actually, the only “review” I’ve found so far is far from favorable, but since it’s from Deadspin, you have to take that into consideration. That’s it. I’m outta here. Enjoy your Mothers’ Day.

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