From the category archives:

“Ripped from today’s headlines…”

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 […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The acerbic comedian died today at the age of 90. A hardcore fan, he was frequently seen at those celebrity games as chronicled in Joe Siegman’s book, Bats, Balls, and Hollywood Stars: Hollywood’s Love Affair with Baseball, released in 2014. Rickles enjoyed talking about the game. Here he speaks with David Letterman in 1998. And […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The Baseball Bookshelf was recently designated as one of the top 100 Baseball Blogs by Feedspot.com. Woo-hoo. Here’s the “official notification”: Hi Ron, My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot. I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf has been selected by our panelist as one of […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Mazel tov to Michael Leahy, winner of the 2016 CASEY Award presented by Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine, as the best baseball book of the year for The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is certainly one of my all-time favorites; if I ever get a chance […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The Cubs visited the White House today. How cool is it that the president is one of their own? In what President Barack Obama said was “the last official event at the White House in my presidency,” the avowed White Sox fan was treated to quite a number of gifts from the World Series champion […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

This story from The New York Times about the baseball card hobby goes from A (Jeff Aeder, aka the prospective buyer) to Z (Guy Zinn, the rare item in question). It also comes on the heels of a discovery I had in my attic while looking for books to donate to the nearby Yogi Berra […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

According to this piece from the Washington Post, there’s a “book about baseball that explains Donald Trump’s win.” And that book is… Drum roll, please… Moneyball. Really. Writer Sonny Bunch compares Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s attempt to win games as cheaply as possible with Trump’s victory in the presidential elections. If there’s anything […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

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 […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Perhaps best known for her portrayal of the avaricious owner of the Cleveland Indians in Major League, Ms. Whitton died on Sunday at the age of 67. Here’s her obituary in the New York Times by Richard Sandomir, who has moved from from his previous  post as the sports media columnist to the “dead beat.” […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

(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. […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Lest we forget: Ralph Branca

November 23, 2016

One of the last “Boys of Summer,” Branca probably knew how his obituary would begin immediately after he gave up “the shot heard round the world” to Bobby Thomson. This was the topic of Joshua Prager’s The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World. Here’s […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Tyler Kepner published this story in today’s NY Times about the new batch of players eligible for Hall of Fame consideration. I totally agree with his assessment that most of these fellows will not meet the five-percent of votes needed to remain on next year’s ballot. The only names that jumps out as a possible/probable […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Goodness knows they deserve it given their long history of going without a championship, but how many new Cubs books are too many? Actually, even their failures have done well for them in terms of literature. There have been almost as many titles — if not more — lamenting their shortcomings as there have been […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

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 […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Stick it, Chief Wahoo

November 9, 2016

I wonder what our president-elect things about politically-questionable team mascots, characters, and logos? Where do you think he comes down on the Cleveland Indians’ famous Chief Wahoo? The timing is a bit off; the time to bring this up was during the season. But it reminded me and those of my fellow boomers might also […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

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 […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Well that didn’t take long

November 4, 2016

What is it, two days after the Cubs won the series and while compiling the (usually) weekly list of baseball best-sellers, there are publications about the team that weren’t even listed when I did my search for items coming down the pike (although, to be strictly accurate, I was basically looking at 2017 items). So […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

To have such an impact on such high-caliber players all these years later, that’s a great legacy. The New York Times‘ Bill Witz published “Cubs’ Win Comes With an Assist From Another Era,” which is basically a tribute to The Science of Hitting, originally published in 1971 by Ted Williams and John Underwood (who also […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Back in 2005, Bill Simmons published Now I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN’s Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help From Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank, and the 2004 Red Sox. (He issued a revised edition when they won again a few years later). Now that the Chicago Cubs have battled their way to the […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Life imitates art?

June 30, 2016

Several weeks ago, I posted about Pitch, a new TV show coming to FOX this fall. It’s the story about the first woman player in the Major Leagues. Well the Sonoma Stompers aren’t exactly the Show, but they are a pro outfit. They recently signed two women to their roster. Tomorrow night, Kelsie Whitmore (below, […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

script type="text/javascript"> var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-5496371-4']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();