Sunday marks the fifth full year in a row where we not only attempt to review 30 baseball books during the 30 days of April, but actually feel (this time) as if we’ll complete the task with some measure of success.
The baseball books we choose for this project have to be recently released — not months or years ago, but most likely between January 2012 and today — and they’re supposed to be available at the time we write about them. We sift through dozens of titles, bounce around the pros and cons of the choices in our head and hope to procure review copies before the month begins to give us the ample time and thought process to see which ones hold our interest for the longest. Most, we’ll read cover to cover. That’s just how we roll, and sometimes roll our eyes when we’re accused of cutting corner. A few, we expect we’ll give up on early, but feel compelled to review them any way just in case you’re thinking of buying them. You can thank us later.
It’s a labor of love, and one where we do hit the wall a couple of times. Some of these projects, we’ll do longer pieces on for the newspaper versions (mostly, in the form of a media column or Sunday Q-and-A). We take them all seriously, and are thankful to have 30 prime candidates every year now to fill the calendar.
Got any ideas? Send ‘em our way. We’d also like to give a shout out to Ron Kaplan, whose website RonKaplansBaseballBookshelf.com has become a great resource in all this pursuit.
Coming up first in the lineup: “Baseball Prospectus 2012″ on Sunday, April 1, followed by “Trading Manny,” by Jim Gullo, and then two novels, “The Greatest Show on Dirt” by James Bailey and “The Might Have Been” by Joseph M. Schuster.
We’ve got Andy Strasberg’s “Baseball Fantography” slotted for the first Friday (April 6) so that it will also work with a weekly sports media column, and Jim Abbott’s autobiography, “Imperfect: An Improbable Life,” on April 8, to coincide with our regular Sunday Q-and-A feature.
Just to refresh your memory, a look back on the previous year’s lists:
== From 2011: (linked here)
== From 2010: (linked here)
== From 2009: (linked here)
== From 2008: (linked here)