30 baseball books in 30 days of ’10: Day 1 — No foolin’, more things to do before the final out


The book: “The Baseball Fan’s Bucket List: 162 Things You Must See, Do, Get & Experience Before You Die”

The author: Robert Santelli and daughter Jenna Santelli

The vital stats: Running Press, 286 pages, $15.95

Find it: We recommend Powells.com (linked here)

The pitch: Because of how it captured our imagination most and inspired us to get off the coach, “101 Baseball Places To See Before You Strike Out” by Josh Pahigian (linked here) was in the lead-off spot for the 2008 list.

Oh, the places we’d like to go.

Here’s Robert Santelli’s turn. And while expansion isn’t always the best ideas in baseball, this one comes with even more opportunities.

Santelli, the executive director of the Grammy Museum near Staples Center (linked here), is a New York Times’ best-selling author — for books on music, like “The Bob Dylan Scrapbook” and the interactive “Greetings from E Street: The Story of Bruce Springsteen.”

As a baseball fan now living in L.A., he’s been to plenty of spots. But to fill in 61 more spots than Pahigian — and isn’t 61 still a great baseball number? — he brings the total to matching the length of a regular-season 162 games, adding books you should read, fantasy camps you should experience, things you should collect (bobbleheads and cards) and tops it off with a checklist.

Your bucket list, there for you to kick it, includes these additions:

No. 16: Take a kid to his or her first major league game
No. 36: Attend the World Baseball Classic.
No. 51: Play in adult baseball league
No. 59: See the Dodgers play the Giants
No. 117: Play APBA
No. 125: Play Strat-O-Matic
No. 158: Visit the Sports Museum of Los Angeles

And our favorite:

No. 148: Fix up a baseball field. Writes Santelli:
“In the end, it really doesn’t matter how the job gets done, or by whom. Helping youngsters gain a safe and attractive place to play baseball is what this ‘Bucket List’ entry is all about.”

As is the entire book, if you really care about the game and its future.

There’s a great cross-reference for “Bucket List” and “101 Places.” Santelli lists at No. 69: Create A Baseball Reference Library. The photo used to illustrate his point is a stack of books — hopefully from his own library — that includes “101 Places” stacked up with “Veeck — As in Wreck,” “Ball Four,” and “Boys of Summer,” all of which have their own entry as well as a bunch of other books and films.

How it goes down in the scorebook: We gave Pahgian’s book an “inside the park home run, laughing all the way.” This one includes a Prince Fielder-like arrival at home plate, complete with knocking down his teammates like giant bowling pins. Start checking stuff off the list in the back and see how much catching up you have to do.

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