Bookshelf reviews: Ruth, McGraw, Mets

2016 title

  My latest feature for Bookreporter.com includes Glenn Stout’s The Selling of the Babe: The Deal That Changed Baseball and Created a Legend Murray Klein’s Stealing Games: How John McGraw Transformed Baseball with the 1911 New York Giants Erik Sherman’s Kings of Queens: Life Beyond Baseball with the ’86 Mets Be sociable, share the Bookshelf! […]

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The Bookshelf Conversation: Erik Sherman

2016 title

You can pretty much count on a new book or two about the Yankees of Mets every year. But 2016 has a bonanza with titles covering not only the latter’s success in 2015, but the 30th anniversary of the World Championship 1986 squad. On of these comes from Erik Sherman, who worked with Mookie Wilson’s […]

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If you’re within the sound of my voice…

2017 Title

you must be telepathic, because I’m not saying anything out loud. But seriously, folks… I will be speaking about “Jews and Baseball” this Sunday (April 17) at 7 p.m. at Temple Sholom in Scotch Plains, NJ. Open to the public, no charge, but it might be an idea to call them at 908-889-4900 and let […]

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Celebrating Jackie

2016 title

April 15 is “Jackie Robinson Day,” marking the anniversary of his debut in 1947. In honor of the occasion, every player wears his number, 42, causing no little bit of confusion for broadcasters, especially when you consider how defensive shifts move infielders out of their normal positions. Robinson’s number is the only one retired from […]

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Baseball Best-Sellers, April 15, 2016

2015 title

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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30 for 30 (baseball books), Week 1

2016 title

Recapping Tom Hoffarth’s entertaining and educational series: April 1: The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports, by Jeff Passan April 2: Baseball Field Guide: An In-Depth Illustrated Guide to the Complete Rules of Baseball, by   Dan Formosa and Paul Hamburger April 3: The Cardinals Way: How One Team […]

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National Pastime Radio: The Darling trifecta/Jeff Passan

2016 title

Might as well wind up with this: Ron Darling was a guest on the April 6 Leonard Lopate Show to hump his latest, Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life (which has gone up three spots since I posted the best-seller entry a few hours earlier). Darling, a Yale […]

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A Darling observation

"Oddballs"

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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Baseball Best-Sellers, April 8, 2016

"Annuals"

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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Is sabermetrics really that much of an improvement?

"Oddballs"

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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When newspapers were an actual thing

"Oddballs"

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 collectibles of the Times

"Oddballs"

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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Leading with The Arm

2016 title

Tom Hoffarth begins his 30-baseball-books-in-30-days series with Jeff Passan’s The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports. Be sociable, share the Bookshelf! Tweet

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See here: Skirball hosts “The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 100-Odd Paintings: The Art of Ben Sakoguchi”

2016 title

I wouldn’t mind having some of these on my bookshelf. The “odd” could have a double meaning: yeah, there are 100-something items on display (the exhibit actually features more than 150 paintings). And yeah, some of them are pretty odd. The LA-based Skirball Cultural Center will offer this exhibition by Southern California–based artist Ben Sakoguchi, […]

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Baseball Best Sellers, April 1, 2016

2015 title

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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My kind of “30 for 30”

"Annuals"

April means more than the beginning of the new season. It’s also time for another year of Tom Hoffarth’s entertaining and educational series in which he examines 30 (and often more) books in 30 days. Hard to believe, but the LA Daily News‘ media columnist has been doing these since 2008. He explains why in […]

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Author appearance: Erik Sherman

2016 title

Erik Sherman, author of Kings of Queens: Life Beyond Baseball with ’86 Mets, will be the featured guest at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse in Manhattan on Tuesday, April 5, at 7 p.m. Just had a flashback: When I was a very wee lad, my dad used to drive a delivery truck and would take me […]

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Baseball in Jeopardy once again

"Oddballs"

Don’t know how I missed this one. Must have been making dinner. Be sociable, share the Bookshelf! Tweet

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Now hear this: Fastball (baseball in podcasts)

2016 title

Been a bit remiss in my own Bookshelf Conversations lately. But always happy to pass along what I’ve come across. Jonathan Hock’s new documentary Fastball recently hit the screens. I had the opportunity to watch a screener. Fascinating stuff. There’s a “Zelig moment” with Justin Verlander “visiting” Bob Feller during his famous “motorcycle showdown.” That […]

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The annual Baseball Preview review

"Annuals"

ESPN the Magazine (Cover price: $5.99) Maybe it’s an age thing, I found ESPN’s attempt to replicate old English (or whatever the hell they were trying to accomplish), pretty difficult to read. It would have been enough if they had just used it on the cover, but they compound the error (IMO) repeatedly Once again, […]

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