Coming next month (aka, tomorrow): The Ruthian task of 30 baseball books in 30 days … and we promise more than just the jacket sleeve reads

i-2943ee16f27abff90ea6fc59253f8356-2930-detail2.jpg

The latest email from the famed J. Peterman Company (yes, we still check this stuff out, if only for the product writeups) boasted of a spring cleaning sale that included the authentic Hillerich & Bradsby Louisville Slugger made to Babe Ruth’s May 29th, 1935, specifications: 36 oz. in weight, dry. Exactly 35-inches long.

“Surprisingly graceful at the grip, less so at the barrel,” says the description (linked here). “Built like the Babe himself.”

The stick (item No. 3224) had been listed at $249. Now it’s $88.

Thanks, but we’ll wiff on that one (besides, we already have one, with a certificate of authenticity).

But the thing that really caught our eye — one of those bait and switch-hit kind of deals — was the sale of baseball sleeves.

i-66d55e79de49464221c8bade54db571c-1949-navy.jpg

You know, “the real thing,” as they’re described.

“They were plain and ordinary, nothing to think about twice. (Or so I thought.) But now I realize they were unduplicatable. I still have mine, and a few emotions, dating from my days in professional baseball.

i-3ec515a92b830c8cbecaccbe00dfc4e6-1949-red.jpg

“When we wore our sleeves, it was always the best time of the year. We were beginning to feel up. I laugh at the imitations today. They have pseudo names like ‘river shirts,’ ‘punting jerseys,’ ‘henley pullovers.’

“Sleeves, the real thing, have never been available to the public except through this company of mine. They are considered a bit too expensive, except for pro teams.

“I don’t think they are too expensive. Not when you see the price of the imitations.

“Sleeves are, were, and always will be comfortable and engaging to wear; lightweight; warm, not hot; not itchy, not sticky, not fussy. Sleeves are good-looking in the way things are when they aren’t trying to be good-looking.

“And now you don’t have to play professional baseball to get one.

“Authentic Baseball Sleeves (No. 1949), for men and women. Two-button placket. Fray-proof hem. Made of two layers of good cotton, to wick away moisture; outer fabric has minute pores, like pigskin.”

You had us at “sleeves.” And the $59 price tag. In blue or red. Dodger or Angel colors.

While we await that order to land on the front porch — the last time we had one of these was … was it wool? — we’ll start pouring past the book jacket sleeves of our latest batch of baseball books, trying to uphold something of a tradition we’ve done the last three years.

The criteria for books that we will include is somewhat loose, but trying to limit it to baseball literature that came out either very late last year or in the three months of 2011, things that are both well covered as well as things we think we’ve uncovered.

Several well-publicized books have some out since that April, 2010 list — including biographies of Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle. Maybe we’ll get to them, but it’s not a priority at this point.

The reason is to celebrate another start of baseball, springing ahead.

Just to refresh your memory, a look back on the previous year’s lists:

== From 2010: (linked here)

== From 2009: (linked here)

== From 2008: (linked here)

== In 2007, an abbreviated look at the baseball media that took us here: linked here, here, here and here. And here … and here …. and this one here. … and here

Now, if we just just find some Peterman stirrups to go with this … and why do we think sending an email to John O’Hurley will somehow get us an in?

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email