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Brooklyn Dodgers

Just happened to turn on the TV to Turner Classic Movie channel. Comrade X, a 1940 romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Hedy Lamar, was on at this scene: Gable’s character, an American journalist visiting Russia, is arguing about communism with Lamar, a local streetcar conductor. She tries to tell him how bad America is, […]

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Forgive the nihilism, but such is the meaninglessness of life. I was about to line the bottom of the birdcage this morning and just happened to notice that one of the pages carried the obituary for “Tom Knight, 89; Knew It All About Brooklyn Baseball.” The 750-plus-word New York Times tribute was written by by […]

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Opinions vary

March 2, 2016

Graham Womack published this ranked list of the 25 greatest baseball books on The Sporting News site. When I wrote 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die, I made a decision not to put them in an order other than alphabetical to avoid having to defend my choices. Such a method invites arguments […]

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The National Pastime Museum website offers a collection of essays on My Favorite Baseball Books. The list includes many of the best-known titles as assessed by writers, critics, and other baseball savants. Among them: Bang the Drum Slowly, by Joe Schuster, author of The Might Have Been: A Novel The Natural, by Ryan Swanson, author […]

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Notice how at this time of year “mainstream” (i.e., non-sports) writers and media in general come up with all sorts of “interesting” features about baseball? Here’s one about the “fine art” of scorekeeping now that the LA Dodgers are in the postseason. W.P. Kisnella‘s Shoeless Joe is listed among “5 books that influenced lives in […]

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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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Submitted for your interest, education, and entertainment, here’s a link to my annual baseball feature on Bookreporter.com. Titles include: Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius Tommy Lasorda: My Way Joe Black: More Than a Dodger Yankee Doodles: Inside the Locker Room with Mickey, Yogi, Reggie, and Derek, Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived […]

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Among the speakers at the Bergino: Thursday, March 5: Mort Zachter, Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life Thursday, March 12: Martha Jo Black, Joe Black: More than a Dodger Thursday, March 26: Matt Nadel, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers

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To Kill a Metaphor

February 11, 2015

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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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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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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The next Moneyball? * A few “inside baseball (business)” pieces coming up: In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball by long-time SABR members Mark Armour and Daniel Leviit. John Pessah adds to this sub-genre with The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers. Lonnie Wheeler’s Intangiball: The Subtle […]

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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. On with the show… Here are the top ten baseball books as […]

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Baseball best-sellers, Sept. 19

September 19, 2014

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. On with the show… Here are the top ten baseball books as […]

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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. On with the show… Here are the top ten baseball books as […]

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The author of this Huffington Post piece makes a compelling argument. Most latter-day fans of Kahn know him from his nostalgic look at The Boys of Summer, which — hard to believe — was published more than 40 years ago. But he was also a beat writer for those Brooklyn Dodgers, as well as a […]

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Bits and pieces, April 23

April 23, 2014

Looking over the overlooked in baseball book news: Tidewater Tides manager Ron Johnson gets a nice profile based on his inclusion in John Feinstein’s Where Nobody Knows Your Name, by John Feinstein. Speaking of which, the Roanoke Times posted this review of the book. Speaking of reviews, Philly.com posted this one on Jackie and Campy, […]

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Baseball book ‘prospects’

February 27, 2014

This it the time of year when the baseball media offer their considered opinions on their favorite prospects. Sometimes they’re spot on, other times, not so much. So I thought, why not apply this to the upcoming “rookie crop” of baseball books? That is, titles that are making their debuts in 2014 — no reprints/reissues […]

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Speaking of the Dodgers, the legend (wait for it) ary broadcaster was himself the subject of this interview on All Things Considered. Scully began working for the Dodgers in 1950, but he wasn’t calling that historic 1951 playoff game with the NY Giants where Pafko was left hanging. From “Vin Scully Remembers His Greatest Calls,” […]

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Lest we forget: Andy Pafko

October 9, 2013

The four-time all star and veteran of 17 Major League seasons passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Here’s the New York Times‘ obit, written by Richard Goldstein, whose resume includes publishing Superstars and Screwballs: 100 Years of Brooklyn Baseball. Pafko had the distinction of appearing in the Chicago Cubs’ last appearance in a […]

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