From the category archives:

“Oddballs”

The actor Alan Young passed away at the age of 96 on Thursday. Baseball connection? Several of the Dodgers, including Sandy Koufax, John Roseboro, Willie Davis, and Moose Skowron appeared as themselves, as well as the voice of Vin Scully.  

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NOTE: I have been posting these things long enough now that a few have commented that the introductory section isn’t necessary anymore. But I’m leaving it in because, to paraphrase Joe DiMaggio when asked why he played so hard all the time, there may be people who’ve never read the best-seller entries before. So on […]

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There has to be something going on on Jeopardy. How else to explain the high number of clues regarding baseball over the past several weeks. It seems like there is at least one reference per week. Sometimes an entire category is devoted to some aspect of the national pastime as in this from last night’s […]

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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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In posting the weekly best-seller list, I usually include the image of a book making its Bookshelf debut. Notice how Author’s name. To me, it appears to be about 50 percent larger than the title of the book. Why is that? Inquiring minds want to know! Is it because Darling has become a national presence […]

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The new normal in baseball literature is to publish something — anything — that pushes baseball analytics as the only logical way to assemble a team. Michael Lewis’ Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game may may have been the first “official” book to address the concept, but there have been several since its […]

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In addition to the regular reasons — the signaling of the start of summer, the lazy evenings, the smell of the grass, etc. — I love the beginning of the baseball season because of the previews in the newspapers. These have often come in the form of supplements of substantial length and breadth and tailored, […]

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The last page of today’s New York Times‘ art section features several wonderful baseball collectibles. The least expensive is a paperweight commemorating Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit for $19.95 plus shipping. The most expensive: a Pride of the Yankees original movie poster for $4,950. Other items include Jackie Robinson Story original movie poster ($1,950) Vintage baseball […]

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Don’t know how I missed this one. Must have been making dinner.

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Jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding was the guest for Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me‘s Not My Job segment last week. So the writer thought it would be cute… PETER SAGAL: Second base is baseball, the great American pastime. SPALDING: Oh no. SAGAL: One of the worst baseball players ever was one Smead Jolley. Mr. Jolly was […]

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Last night, an entire category devoted to “Ways to reach first base.” The contestants answered each one correctly, although the $200 clue remained on the board after the first round. $400: 4 wide ones (What is a walk?) $600: Craig Biggio had it happen 285 times; ouch! (What is hit by pitch?) $800: A defensive […]

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This time it’s “Moneyball for book publishers.” How long until “moneyball” is added to the OED? No exact match found for “moneyball” in Grammar & usage

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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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Poor relations

March 3, 2016 · 0 comments

Guess I wasn’t born into the right family. You know, the kind that squirrels things away in the attic, totally oblivious to their importance. Case in point: “Family finds not one but 7(!) 100-year-old Ty Cobb baseball cards” “Fortune” indeed.

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♦ The Minnesota Spokesman Record, an African-America newspaper, posted this review of They Played for the Love of the Game: Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota, published by Frank M. White. ♦ The Lincoln (NE) Journal Star provided this piece on Roger Angell‘s memoir, This Old Man: All in Pieces. I still maintain this […]

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Last month I included a mention of Baseball and the Law: Cases and Materials by Judge Lou Schiff and Nova Southeastern Law School Professor Robert Jarvis in a “Bits and Pieces” entry. I noted that it was  pricey volume ($114 on Amazon) and the judge sent an email pointing out that yes, legal books were expensive […]

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It’s widely agreed that baseball movies as a rule don’t do well either at the box office or with critics. Sure there are exceptions — Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and the original Bad News Bears immediately come to mind. But by and large, meh. Case in point: I recently watched a MLB Network presentation […]

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Make’s it official then. Abbot and Costello’s seminal “Who’s on First” routine was selected by Vulture as among the “The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy.” The jokes are listed in chronological order, not by funniest. In fact the title of the piece makes no promise along those lines. From the Vulture commentary: No single […]

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Brought to you as a public service announcement… The legendary baseball writer/broadcaster Peter Gammons was on the segment preceding my appearance on the MLB Network’s Hot Stove last week. One of the things he discussed was this upcoming music event for charity. Gammons, an avid guitar player, is getting ready for the 16th Theo Epstein […]

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In a vain attempt to clear out my inbox, here is the final B&P for the year. Hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these things as much as I have. Don’t read anything political into the posting of this piece about “How Bernie Sanders brought professional baseball to Vermont,” via The Sporting News. From outsports.com, this […]

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