The Bookshelf Conversation: Jane Leavy

Biography

Mickey Mantle. Sandy Koufax. Two heroic symbols of the Boomer generation. Two flawed figures, one of his own accord, one of poor luck. Jane Leavy has turned both of their stories into best-selling biograophies. So what does she do for an encore? Why not another icon, who wrestled with his own demons, although it didn’t […]

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Lest we forget: Alison Gordon

Annoucements

One of the first women reports to make it into a mens’ locker room, Alison Gordon passed away yesterday at the age of 72. Gordon, who covered the Blue Jays for the Toronto Star, wrote about her experiences in her 19085 memoir, Foul ball!: Five Years in the American League, which is include in 501 Baseball […]

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Baseball best-sellers, Feb. 13, 2015

"Annuals"

Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message. So without further ado, here are the top ten baseball books as […]

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Bookshelf reviews: Jeter titles

2014 title

Derek Jeter: Excellence and Elegance, compiled and edited by Tyler Kepner. Triumph, 2014. Jeter Unfiltered, by Derek Jeter with photographs by Christopher Anderson. Gallery Books, 2015. How do you tell the story of one of the most iconic players of his generation in a few hundred pages? As the Yankees’ future Hall of Fame shortstop […]

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To Kill a Metaphor

"Oddballs"

The “Just a Bit Outside” blog on the Fox Sports site would have us believe that Joe Black, the one-year wonder for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1952, is the baseball equivalent of Harper Lee, whose only published work — to date — was a classic. From the entry: What we’re looking for here is a […]

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I could have sworn I wrote about this before

Because I can...

This whole Brian Williams business (not this Brian Williams, although he might have his own stories to tell) has a lot of tongues wagging. If he was “lying” about some of his experiences — being in a helicopter in Afghanistan that was shot down, seeing a body floating on the water in New Orleans after […]

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Move over, Gary Cooper and William Bendix

"Oddballs"

And, let’s not forget Anthony Perkins. These three popular actors made baseball films that were memorable for one reason or another and none of them displayed an ounce of athletic talent portraying, respectively, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Jim Piersall. Sure there were others who probably should have turned down such demanding roles,  but those were […]

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Bookshelf Review: Joe Black: More Than a Dodger

2015 title

by Martha Jo Black and Chuck Schoffner. Academy Chicago, 2015. Rather than the blustery “best” or “greatest” that book titles seem to relish, this new biography of what basically amounted to a one-year wonder, is most appropriate. Joe Black, who burst on the scene in 1952 by winning 15 games and saving 15 more to […]

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Bits and pieces, Feb. 6, 2015

2014 title

* Josh Wilker’s forthcoming book, Benchwarmer: An Anxious Dad’s Almanac of Fatherhood and Other Failures gets a thumbs up from Kirkus. Upshot: “This almanac of fatherhood (and other failures) is honest, relatable and humorous—an indispensable read for fathers (and sons) whose joy in life comes not from winning the big game but being alive to […]

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Baseball best-sellers, Feb. 6, 2015

"Annuals"

Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message. So without further ado, here are the top ten baseball books as […]

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The first “robins” of spring

"Annuals"

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Baseball book reviewers roundtable

Reviews from other sources

It’s been my pleasure over the years to correspond with a bunch of like-minded lovers of baseball literature. The gentlemen you will meet here also write baseball reviews for various outlets, some print, some on-line, some both. I thought it would be fun to have a “discussion” about the hows and whys of what we […]

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The Bookshelf Conversation: Ellis Valentine

"Ripped from today's headlines..."

Ain’t Facebook wonderful? It gives one the chance to find so many interesting people. One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is the number of current and former athletes who are social networking and how “just plain folks” they are. Case in point, Ellis Valentine. Just like the rest of us, he […]

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万歳!

"Oddballs"

I hope that means “hooray!” You never know how things might change subtly with Google translate. Anyway, this comes from the Anime News Network (“The Internet’s most trusted anime news source”): Takuya Mitsuda will continue his long-running Major manga series on Shogakukan‘s Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine in March. This will be the first new chapter […]

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Baseball best-sellers, Jan. 30,2015

"Annuals"

  Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message. So without further ado, here are the top ten baseball books […]

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Lest we forget: Rocky Bridges

Lest We Forget

What was that about “threes?” Baseball lost one of its colorful characters when Bridges passed away at the age of 87 on Jan. 27. Bridges, who played for seven teams during his 11-year career, had one of the classic “chaw faces” of all time. Be sociable, share the Bookshelf! Tweet

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Lest we forget: Charlie Williams

Baseball Trivia

Boy, these things really do come in threes, don’t they? Charlie Williams is the answer to a trivia question: Who was traded for Willie Mays? The 67-year-old pitcher died on Tuesday. No obituary, so far, from the NY papers, but I think (hope) it’s only a matter of time. Williams was actually born in Flushing […]

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Lest we forget: Bill Monbouquette

Lest We Forget

Bruce Weber gave Monbouquette, who died at the age of 78 on Jan. 25 , the NY Times obit treatment. Monbouquette was a sturdy pitcher during his 11-year career, winning 20 in 1963 for a Boston Red Sox team that was 76-85. He was a two-time All-Star and threw a no-hitter against the Chicago White […]

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Lest we forget: Ernie Banks

Autobiography

Over due. The baseball community lost one of its real gentlemen when Ernie Banks passed away over the weekend. Banks struck me like a Stan Musial type: a certified Hall of Famer who spent his entire career with one team that didn’t always play that well. He did well enough, though: two consecutive MVP awards […]

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O’Malley bio wins SABR’s Seymour award

2014 title

Just like the movies, this is the baseball book awards season. On Monday, I wrote about Kostya Kennedy’s biography Pete Rose: An American Dilemma, winning Spitball Magazine’s Casey award. Now the other shoe has dropped. Mover and Shaker: Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers, & Baseball’s Westward Expansion, by past SABR President Andy McCue was selected as […]

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