Day 29: 30 baseball books in 30 days of April, ’09: We’re already in the bottom of the ninth … egads

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The book: “Bottom of the Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball from Itself”

The author: Michael Shapiro

How to find it: Henry Holt/Times Books, 320 pages, $25

Where we’d go looking for it: It’s on Amazon (linked here) and Barnes and Noble (linked here).

The scoop: We were intrigued by the content by a review of the book we saw from Allen Barra in the Daily News back in late March.

Barra wrote: “(The book) is based on a somewhat dubious premise, namely that half a century ago, major league baseball was on the verge of a crisis and that somehow this was exemplified by the almost yearly success of the New York Yankees.” Barra points out that the Yankees won only two World Series between 1954 and 1960, but were dominant to that point.

“Fortunately one doesn’t have to accept this theme to enjoy the book,” Barra adds.

Unfortunately, we waited this long, but still haven’t had the opportunty to read it. It’s not due in book stores until May and we have waited all month for a review copy, but none has arrived …

Shapiro, who did “The Last Good Season” about the Brooklyn Dodgers, goes into the life and times of Rickey, the Dodgers’ co-owner and general manager who was trying to start a third major league, the Continental League.

How it goes down in the scorebook: Incomplete. On our end. We apologize. But that happens in baseball. You don’t get a hit everytime up.

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