Now available: At long last I’m happy to announce the official release of my latest book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War. Support your local  local bookstore and tell your friends!

Merci.

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Lest we forget: Bob Motley

September 16, 2017 · 0 comments

Image result for brian motley, negro leaguesBob Motley, the last surviving Negro Leagues umpire, passed away Thursday at the age of 94.

I had posted about Motley when he turned 91. He was the author of Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars: True Tales of Breaking Barriers, Umpiring Baseball Legends, and Wild Adventures in the Negro Leagues, which he co-wrote with his son, Byron.

Byron Motley posted the following on Facebook. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind my sharing it here.

It is with a sad yet grateful heart that I tell you that my living legend of a father, my hero and best friend, Bob Motley passed away peacefully yesterday at age 94! A long and fruitful life! We could all use lessons from his life as he lived his with a whole lot of love, grace, dignity, passion and humor! He will be deeply missed, but I’m forever grateful for the countless and amazing memories we shared in this journey of life. As he loved to always say, “we are well blessed”! And that we are and forever will be…. rest well daddy……..

A few articles of tribute for the late Bob Motley:

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, outdoor and closeup

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As you may have notice, these entries have been falling off in the last several weeks. My apologies. A new full-time job — very different from what I had been doing as the sports and features editor of a weekly community newspaper in suburban New Jersey — has put new and strange demands on my time. More about that at another time perhaps.

In the meantime…

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 with the show…

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main.

  1. Image result for The Chicago Cubs: Story of a CurseThe Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  2. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  3. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  4. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  5. Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz with Michael Holley
  6. The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques, by Jay Jaffe
  7. Heads-Up Baseball : Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time, by Tom Hanson
  8. The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse, by Rich Cohen *
  9. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Lifeby Rick Ankiel with Tim Brown
  10. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law

Another book about the Cubs? Sure, why not? After all the Red Sox went through the same thing following their first world championship in generations.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They DieToday: 1,226,181; last time: 341,353. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 1,065,631, down from last week’s 615,564. Fame is fleeting.

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.

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As you may have notice, these entries have been falling off in the last several weeks. My apologies. A new full-time job — very different from what I had been doing as the sports and features editor of a weekly community newspaper in suburban New Jersey — has put new and strange demands on my time. More about that at another time perhaps.

In the meantime…

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 with the show…

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main.

  1. Image result for the glory of their timesMoneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  2. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  3. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  4. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law
  5. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  6. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Jeff Silverman
  7. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Lifeby Rick Ankiel with Tim Brown
  8. Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s, by Jason Turbow
  9. Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz with Michael Holley
  10. The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It, by Lawrence Ritter

NY Times: Papi is #9 on the  monthly sports best-selling list for September.

Nice to see the old classic TGOTT on the list — or any list — again.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They DieToday: 341,353; last time: 1,249,126. Nice! Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 615,564, up from last week’s 888,627. Also nice.

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.

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Haven’t done one of these in awhile, but here we go…

This whole unpleasant business with Charlottesville has opened a can of worms when it comes to deciding which people who had previously been recognized by way of statues, parks, and roadways should have those honors stripped. Case in point: Tom Yawkey, former owner of the Boston Red Sox who has been characterized as a racist; the Sox were the last team in Major League Baseball to integrate. One of the streets bordering Fenway Park bears his name. What should be done about that? Journalist Howard Bryant, author of several books dealing with baseball and racial issues, had this to say.

Author J.J. McDaniel has released a new book, Papyrophilia, a self-published historical novel presented as a “tribute to baseball card collecting,” according to this article on CrestviewBulletin.com.

The Pemberton Library (New Jersey) will present a program on “Baseball Parks And American Landscapes” on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m.

Also on Saturday at the same time, “Baseball in the Berkshires: A County’s Common Bond,” the permanent exhibition of memorabilia at the mall, will offer an afternoon of presentations at its inaugural Baseball Day at the Berkshire Mall in Massachusetts.

Here’s a profile on Jim Kaplan (no relation), author of Clearing the Bases: A Veteran Sportswriter on the National Pastime, from the Martha’s Vineyard Vineyard Gazette.

Loathe to say I had never heard of High & Outside: A Baseball NoirBut now that I have, I’ll have to see about finding a way to watch it. The movie features the late Geoffrey Lewis in his last appearance. Here’s a story on it from the Chicago TribuneI wouldn’t be surprised if it’s screening at the Hall of Fame’s annual film festival. Judging from the trailer, the cinematography looks top notch.

Finally, a man returned a book that was overdue by some 45 years. At least it was a baseball title: My Secrets of Playing Baseball, by Willie Mays with Howard Liss. Let’s see, if the fine was just five cents a day…times 365 days…times 45 years…that comes to over $800! And that’s without calculating for leap years. I probably would have just said I lost it and paid the $30 or so it would have cost to replace. But I’m a bad guy.

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As you may have notice, these entries have been falling off in the last several weeks. My apologies. A new full-time job — very different from what I had been doing as the sports and features editor of a weekly community newspaper in suburban New Jersey — has put new and strange demands on my time. More about that at another time perhaps.

In the meantime…

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 with the show…

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main.

  1. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  2. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  3. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Lifeby Rick Ankiel with Tim Brown
  4. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  5. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law
  6. Heads-Up Baseball : Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time, by Tom Hanson
  7. The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques, by Jay Jaffe
  8. Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever, by Kevin Cook
  9. Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz with Michael Holley
  10. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood

NY Times: Papi is #5 on the August monthly sports best-selling list with Teammate #9.

Nothing really new to report on this week’s list. Oh well.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They DieToday:1,249,126; last time: 1,470,864. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks888,627, down from last week’s 556,659.

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.

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I’m still here

August 31, 2017 · 0 comments

Working my new job has thrown my life into a degree of unpredictability, with its seven-day-a-week schedule and hours that can begin as early as 4 a.m. and end after midnight. Sadly, this has taken a toll on my reading and blogging time, both here and on my other two sites, Kaplan’s Korner on Jews and Sports and The Worried Journalist.

But I have had the odd moment of respite. I was a recent guest at the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Summer Author Series, closing out their event with a discussion on Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War. Many thanks to Bruce Markusen, who served as interviewer and host.

It was great returning to Cooperstown with my wife, Faith, sitting on the veranda at the Otesaga Hotel (who knows; maybe Hank parked his tuchas in my rocking chair during an Induction Weekend); having drinks with Mayor (and fellow baseball author) Jeff Katz (Split Season: 1981: Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball); and just tooling around in general.

My next appearance will be at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls on Saturday, Oct. 7, as part of a day-long program for veterans. Always happy to pay tribute to those people.

Then there’s a return to the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival in November for their Sports Night Program. I was there in 2013 following the publication of 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die and the organizers really do a top notch job. My only regret is that it’s not held during baseball season so I could take in a Cardinals game.

I hope to return to form, posting more often and offering more of the news, reviews, previews, and interviews (The Bookshelf Conversation podcast) you’ve all come to rely upon (ha) after Labor Day, so start spreading the news.

 

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As you may have notice, these entries have been falling off in the last several weeks. My apologies. A new full-time job — very different from what I had been doing as the sports and features editor of a weekly community newspaper in suburban New Jersey — has put new and strange demands on my time. More about that at another time perhaps.

In the meantime…

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 with the show…

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main.

  1. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  2. Baseball Junkie: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of a World Series Champion, by Aubrey Huff
  3. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  4. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law
  5. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  6. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  7. The Natural, by Bernard Malamud
  8. Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever, by Kevin Cook
  9. Dinner with DiMaggio: Memories of An American Hero, by Dr. Rock Positano
  10. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel with Tim Brown

NY Times: Papi is #5 on the August monthly sports best-selling list with Teammate #9.

The Natural? I’m guessing kids are starting to read it as they prepare to return to school. Whatever it takes.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 1,470,864; last time: 1,353,927. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 556,659. I wonder if it got any kind of boost from my recent appearance at the Hall of Fame?

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.

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As you may have notice, these entries have been falling off in the last several weeks. My apologies. A new full-time job — very different from what I had been doing as the sports and features editor of a weekly community newspaper in suburban New Jersey — has put new and strange demands on my time. More about that at another time perhaps.

In the meantime…

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 with the show…

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main.

  1. Image result for moneyball, book

    Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis

  2. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  3. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  4. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law
  5. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel with Tim Brown
  6. They Call Me Pudge: My Life Playing the Game I Love, by Ivan Rodriguez with Jeff Sullivan
  7. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  8. Heads-Up Baseball : Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time, by Tom Hanson
  9. The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques, by Jay Jaffe
  10. Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz and Michael Holley

Hot New Releases

  1. They Call Me Pudge
  2. The Cooperstown Casebook
  3. Terror in the City of Champions: Murder, Baseball, and the Secret Society that Shocked Depression-era Detroit, by Tom Stanton

Most Wished For

  1. The Cooperstown Casebook
  2. Smart Baseball
  3. Cubs Way

NY Times: Papi is #5 on the August monthly sports best-selling list with Teammate #9.

Moneyball back at #1? I love it, but what does that say about the quality of the new titles when something this old rises to the top of the chart? Granted, it only takes a few copies sold to move 1,000 spots. Maybe some college course is using it as a textbook. Regardless, congrats Michael Lewis.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 1,353,927; last time: 1,244,579. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 977,748.

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

As you may have notice, these entries have been falling off in the last several weeks. My apologies. A new full-time job — very different from what I had been doing as the sports and features editor of a weekly community newspaper in suburban New Jersey — has put new and strange demands on my time. More about that at another time perhaps.

In the meantime…

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 with the show…

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main.

  1. Image result for cooperstown casebookThe Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel with Tim Brown
  2. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  3. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law
  4. The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques, by Jay Jaffe
  5. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  6. They Call Me Pudge: My Life Playing the Game I Love, by Ivan Rodriguez with Jeff Sullivan
  7. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  8. Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception, by Jeff Sullivan
  9. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  10. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Jeff Silverman

Hot New Releases

  1. They Call Me Pudge
  2. The Cooperstown Casebook
  3. Terror in the City of Champions: Murder, Baseball, and the Secret Society that Shocked Depression-era Detroit, by Tom Stanton

Most Wished For

  1. The Cooperstown Casebook
  2. Smart Baseball
  3. Moneyball

NY Times: Papi is #5 on the August monthly sports best-selling list with Teammate #9. Tim Tebow’s Shaken is #7. Now that he’s a baseball player, should that count?

Been a while since I posted one of these, so there are a few new titles for me, including Pudge, no doubt inspired by his recent induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Speaking of the Hall, we also have Jay Jaffe’s latest. I wonder what he has to say (if anything), about Rodriguez. I must admit I haven’t finished it yet.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 1,244,579; last time: 949,133. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 744,292.

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.

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The baseball world lost two alumni recently with the passings of Don Baylor and Darren Daulton, both succumbing to the ravages of cancer.

Baylor, a fierce and fearsome batter who hit 338 home runs and drove in 1,276 runs in a 19-year career (Angels, Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, As, and Twins), died early this morning. He was also fearless,  crowding the plate and setting the record for most times hit by a pitch (267), a mark later broken by Craig Biggio.

Baylor — who won the AL MVP award in 1979 — was also a manager for nine seasons, leading the Colorado Rockies (1993-98) to their first playoff berth in 1995, a season shortened by the remnants of the 1994 strike. He also skippered the Chicago Cubs from 2000 into the 2002 season.

He collaborated with Claire Smith, the most recent Spink Award winner, on Nothing But the Truth: A Baseball Life in 1989.

Here’s his obituary from Boston.com. No doubt the Times and other New York Papers will print something very shortly.

UPDATE: Sure enough, here’s the piece from the Aug. 8 Times, written by Richard Sandomir, the former sports media columnist who now works at the obituary desk (and authored the new book about the making of the film The Pride of the Yankees). And this one in the NY Daily News from Bill Madden. And this from the NY Post.

Daulton, who lost his years-long battle with brain cancer on Sunday, was a leader of the fightin’ Phillies teams on the early to mid-1990s, leading them to the World Series in 1993. Tyler Kepner contributed this piece to the Times. Daulton, who spent all but 52 games in his 13-year career with Philadelphia, published his memoirs, If They Only Knew, in 2007.

 

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Image result for richard sandomir pride of the yankees

Two of my favorite pastimes are baseball and movies. So when a book comes along about a baseball movie, you know I’m all over that. So there was with great joy when I learned awhile back that Richard Sandomir, the former sports media columnist for The New York Times (now on the “dead beat” for the paper) was working on the backstory of The Pride of the Yankees, one of the most beloved baseball flicks of all time. And I was not disappointed.

POTY has been the subject of many rumors over the years, especially over how the film was shot. Some have mentioned that because Cooper was a right-hander and couldn’t convincingly portray the baseball skills of the left-handed hitting Lou Gehrig, they had the actor running the bases counter-clockwise in a uniform with the teams name printed in reverse, and other wild theories.

Image result for richard sandomir pride of the yankeesNo spoiler alerts here, but just a few items that really stuck out for me from Sandomir’s work:

  • The role Eleanor Gehrig played in influencing what was eventually brought to the big screen
  • The almost “anti-baseball philosophy” held by the film’s producer
  • The small amount of actual baseball action we see, especially in close-ups of Cooper
  • That Cooper’s “Luckiest Man” speech has become the de facto version since there was no recording or transcript made from the actual comments made by the real Gehrig.

With that, I give you the Bookshelf Conversation with Richard Sandomir.

(A word of apology: Recently purchased a new laptop with an update operating system which means more advanced programs than I had been working with. So there’s a learning curve involved that will take a little time and until then, the quality of the audio might be a tad off. Thank you for your patience and understanding.)

 

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Gelf Magazine’s presents ‘Varsity Letters: Baseball Night’

2017 Title

Well, I can cross that off my bucket list. I’ve wanted to take part in this program ever since I published my first book but things never quite worked out. In fact, I was originally supposed to join Richard Sandomir last month to talk about two iconic first basemen with New York roots but couldn’t […]

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Review roundup

2017 Title

Once again, a semi-regular attempt to catch up on reviews from other sources… From BlueBirdBanter, a Blue Jays-centric site — this on Stacey May Fowles’ Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me. Upshot: ” It is deeply human and relatable, even when dealing with uncomfortable situations which would be easier to gloss over.” From […]

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Baseball Best-Sellers, July 21, 2017

2016 title

As you may have notice, these entries have been falling off in the last several weeks. My apologies. A new full-time job — very different from what I had been doing as the sports and features editor of a weekly community newspaper in suburban New Jersey — has put new and strange demands on my […]

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Shameless self-promotion: Upcoming Hank Greenberg events

2017 Title

I’ve been looking to participate in Gelf Magazine’s “Varsity Letters” program for years. The dream comes true July 24. Hope to see you there. Here are the details: Baseball Night Varsity Letters is back at The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday, July 24, with four authors of recently released books about baseball: • […]

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The Bookshelf Conversation: Claire Smith

Newspapers

I had the enormous good fortune to catch Claire Smith, the newest recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award at the recent Society for American Baseball Research convention. Smith was the first African-American female reporter to cover baseball for a newspaper as a staffer with the Hartford Courant in 1983. She later became a columnist […]

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Shameless self-promotion: Upcoming Hank Greenberg events

2017 Title

I’ve been looking to participate in Gelf Magazine’s “Varsity Letters” program for years. The dream comes true July 24. Hope to see you there. Here are the details: Baseball Night Varsity Letters is back at The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday, July 24, with four authors of recently released books about baseball: • […]

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Lest we forget: Gene Conley

"Ripped from today's headlines..."

The only man to be a member of a World Series winner (Milwaukee Brewers, 1957) and NBA championship (Boston Celtics, 1958-61) died on Tuesday at the age of 86. Gene Conley, a three-time All-Star, compiled a record of 91-96 in 11 big league seasons. he played for the Braves in 1952 when they were still […]

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Dispatches from the SABR Convention, July 1

Baseball best-seller

Kudos to the planning committee; they saved the best (IMHO) for last. (Note: this was written over the course of the day, so bear in mind the timeframe references.) The final full day began with meeting some old friends: Curt Smith, author of several excellent books about the legendary broadcasters of the game (photo below […]

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Dispatches from the SABR Convention, June 30

Analytics

(Posted early Saturday, but the time references refer to Friday.) The second full day began with “A Celebration of 70 Years: Jackie Robinson’s Journey,” with panelists Lee Lowenfish, author of Branch Rickey: The Ferocious Gentleman among other baseball titles; author and former NY Times columnist William C. Rhoden; and Della Britton Baeza, CEO of the […]

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