A quick wrap of the 30 baseball books for April, 2014

4c9xXXncESorting out what we’ve sent out after day for the last month:

A long shelf life:
== “Babe Ruth’s Called Shot: The Myth and Mystery of Baseball’s Greatest Home Run” by Ed Sherman
== “Mover & Shaker: Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers, & Baseball’s Westward Expansion” by Andy McCue
== “Bigger Than The Game: Restitching a Major League Life” by Dirk Hayhurst
== “Up, Up & Away: The Kid, The Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, Le Grand Orange, Youppi! The Crazy Business of Baseball, & the Ill-Fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos” by  Jonah Keri
== “Throwback: A Big-League Catcher Tells How the Game is Really Played” by Jason Kendall, with Lee Judge
== “Nolan Ryan: The Making of a Pitcher” by Rob Goldman

Going yard:
== “Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball” by John Feinstein
== “Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson” by Doug Wilson
== “Nine Bucks A Pound” by James Bailey
== “How Baseball Explains America” by Hal Bodley

Extra-base hits:
== “Bring In the Right-Hander!: My Twenty-Two Years in the Major Leagues” by Jerry Reuss
== “Jackie & Campy: The Untold Story of Their Rocky Relationship and the Breaking of Baseball’s Color Line” by William C. Kashatus
== “Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ’76″ by Dan Epstein
== “1954: The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball Forever” by Bill Madden

Those books we either did not get to, arrived too late to review, or we know are out there but have not seen them: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Day 30: 30 days of baseball books in April 2014 — Explain yourself, baseball

9781600789380

  • The pitch: Back near Thanksgiving of 2008, Sal Paolantonio explained to us how football explained America. And we saw the connections clearly.
    Soon afterword, we eventually figured out how hockey explained Canada.
    At long last, the full Bodley contact version of baseball and America’s pastime.
    Like Chapter 6, how “few people can go a full day without using a baseball term in their conversation. Baseball is truly our national pastime, but it’s also an integral part of our vocabulary … it’s light and fits well in our society.”
    Like a guy who talks to his friends about going out on a date and not being able to get to first base? Continue reading
Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Day 29: 30 days of baseball books in April 2014 — A guy can still dream

Cover_Final-1_Curves

  • The pitch: The tip off to what this is all about is from Berger’s dedication: “For all those kids, like me, who grew up in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s and dreamed about being a major league baseball player but didn’t have the talent or ability to make it past Little League. Don’t ever let that dream die.”
    Instead, go to a fantasy camp.
    Berger got turned on by the idea back about 20 years ago when a friend, Lou Cohen, told him about the Dodgertown camp he attended in Vero Beach, Fla., a few years earlier. Another friend was telling Berger about his experience at a Yankees fantasy camp in 2009.
    Would Berger ever get to scratch the itch and finally go to one? Or four? Continue reading
Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Day 28: 30 days of baseball books in April 2014 — Denehy’s rage against the baseball machine, in recovery mode

BIGqrks

rea0874_lg

  • The pitch: If you’ve got yourself a 1967 Topps #581 rookie card of Tom Seaver — which, on the collectors’ market can go beyond $1,000 — hang onto it. The value may have just gone up.
    The guy on the left has a story to tell, too. Perhaps no two players appear on the same card but go opposite directions. Fast.
    “Tom Seaver won 311 games with an ERA of 2.86, pitching himself into the Hall of Fame,” Denehy explains on page 6 of this book. “I, on the other hand, finished my career with a one-and-ten record and a 4.70 ERA.
    “And yet, compared to Tom Seaver, my life was far more entertaining and interesting … With my career over in the mid-twenties, I had to figure out how I would live the rest of my life, and that hasn’t been easy. …”
    It gets more heartbreaking from there. One page over, still in the first chapter:
    1968 Bill Denehy (r)“I was a dreamer. And time after time I figured that if I could come up with some grandiose idea, some magical plan, I could provide my family with all the trappings of success for a person no longer in major league baseball. I felt driven and under tremendous pressure to succeed, in part because my ex-wife’s mother thought I was a loser. I suffered great agony having never been able to prove her wrong.”
    He had anger issues, a “wicked temper,” as he puts it. He was self-destructive. He became addicted to the amphetamines that were prevalent in the ’60s for MLB players. He drank way too much.
    “The root of my anger and my trouble with women began with the nuns in Catholic school,” he confesses. “These sex-starved sadists never should have been allowed around children. I thought they were a menace to society.
    “Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.” Continue reading
Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Play It Forward: April 28-May 4 on your sports cal — The Clips-Warriors Game 5 decision: Use your ticket, watch on Prime Ticket, or get ticked off

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:

Blake Griffin, left, goes up for a shot next to  Warriors' David Lee during Game 4 on Sunday in Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Blake Griffin, left, goes up for a shot next to Warriors’ David Lee during Game 4 on Sunday in Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

NBA PLAYOFFS:
WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS:
GAME 5: CLIPPERS vs. GOLDEN STATE
Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., TNT, Prime Ticket:

Shelley Sterling, left, wife of  Clippers owner Donald Sterling, watches from a court side seat during the second half in Game 4 at Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Shelley Sterling, left, wife of Clippers owner Donald Sterling, watches from a court side seat during the second half in Game 4 at Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By the time tip-off happens, the NBA may have tipped its hand on resolution in the Donald T. Sterling mess and fan reaction will be a focal point of the story as the Clippers regroup following the Game 4 sluggish loss that tied the series up at two games apiece. Clippers coach Doc Rivers says he understood how many paying customers may heed Magic Johnson’s advice and stay away from the game, even if they’ve already bought tickets. The Clippers have sold out their last 137 games. “We need (the fans), I can tell you that,” said Rivers. “We need everybody. We play for them. We always have. So we do need them. We’re going to need them bad on Tuesday. We’re going to need them there. We’re going to need them in our corner. But, listen, I get all of it.” What Rivers should be more concerned about is how Golden State shot 55.4 percent (to the Clippers’ 42.9 percent) in Game 4. That’s the best field-goal percentage allowed by the Clippers this season, and the highest by a Doc Rivers coached team in a playoff game since May 8, 2009. By the way, Sterling has already agreed not to attend this game, according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Maybe that opens up a court-side seat for one of Billy Crystal’s pals?
The series wraps up:
Game 6: at Golden State, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., TNT, Prime
Game 7: at Staples Center, Saturday at TBA

BEST OF THE REST: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email