The complete 30-for-30 2017 list of baseball book reviews

Arranged by the quality of the work that we tried to pass along in each review:

SAVE IT TOP SHELF

== Day 28: “Fantasy Life: Baseball and the American Dream,” photographs by Tabitha Soren, text by Dave Eggers
== Day 27: “Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching and the Art of Deception,” by Terry McDermott
== Day 23: “Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones that are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball,” by Keith Law
== Day 20: “Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son,” by Paul Dickson
== Day 18: “The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips and the Pitch that Changed My Life,” by Rick Anikiel with Tim Brown
== Day 10: “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse,” by Tom Verducci

ONES WE ARE QUITE FOND OF

== Day 30: “Baseball Is Back,” by Michael Turner
== Day 11: “Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me,” by Stacey May Fowles
== Day 7: “One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime,” by John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro
== Day 2: “The Amazing Baseball Adventure: Ballpark Wonders from the Bushes to the Show,” by Josh Pahigian
== Day 3: “City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles,” by Jerald Podair
== Day 1: “The Boy Who Knew Too Much: An Astounding True Story of a Young Boy’s Past-Life Memories,” by Cathy Byrd

LEARNING SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY

== Day 26: The New Baseball Bible: Notes, Nuggets, Lists and Legends from Our National Pasttime,” by Dan Schlossberg (preface by Alan Schwarz, forward by Jay Johnstone)
== Day 25: “Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War,” by Ron Kaplan
== Day 24: “Lefty O’Doul: Baseball’s Forgotten Ambassador,” by Dennis Snelling
== Day 22: “Baseball Meat Market: The Stories Behind the Best and Worst Trades in History,” by Shawn Krest
== Day 17: “Lyman Bostock: The Inspiring Life and Tragic Death of a Ballplayer,” by K. Adam Powell
== Day 16: “Do You Want to Work in Baseball?: Advice to Acquire Employment in MLB and Mentorship in Scouting and Player Development,” by Bill Geivett
== Day 15: “Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography: The Faith of a Boundary-Breaking Hero,” by Michael G. Long and Chris Lamb
== Day 13: “Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character,” by Marty Appel
== Day 12: “Seinsoth: The Rough and Tumble Life of a Dodger,” by Steven K. Wagner
== Day 9: “Lost Ballparks,” by Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos
== Day 8: “Frick*: Baseball’s Third Commissioner,” by John P. Carvalho
== Day 6: “Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey,” by Ila Borders, with Jean Hastings Ardell

THANKS FOR PLAYING

== Day 29: “Cincinnati Red and Dodger Blue: Baseball’s Greatest Forgotten Rivalry” by Tom Van Riper
== Day 21: “Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star,” by Greg W. Prince
== Day 19: “Ballplayer,” by Chipper Jones with Carroll Rogers Walton
== Day 14: “The 50 Greatest Players in Dodgers History,” by Robert W. Cohen
== Day 5: “Baseball Beyond Our Borders: An International Pastime,” edited by George Gmelch and Daniel Nathan
== Day 4: “Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s,” by Jason Turbow

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30 baseball books for April, ’17, Day 30: This dad has baseball’s back … for his kids and everyone else’s

That’s Ella Turner on the left (wearing the Strasburg shirt) and sister Nora (with the Wilson Ramos shirt), right, at a Nationals-Dodgers NLDS Game 1 at Nationals Park last season. The poster is in reference to Ramos’ nickname, Buffalo. (Photo courtesy of Michael Turner)

 

The book: “Baseball Is Back”
The author: Michael Turner
The vital statistics: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 28 pages, $12.99, released Feb. 10.
Find it: At Amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble

The pitch: Yup, this should have come at the very front of the collection of this year’s reviews.
The perfect title. The perfect tone.
The perfect backstory.
Turner, who grew up in Southern California and graduated from North Hollywood High, knows what it’s like to be away from baseball.
As a Naval officer from 1999-2004, then joining the foreign service, he has been in the international affairs field for more than 17 years, also living in Italy, Bahrain, Indonesia, Colombia and Vietnam. Washington, D.C., is his current home base, just 10 minutes from Nationals Park.
All those years sitting in the left-field bleachers when he could look over Dusty Baker’s shoulder at the games in the 1970s never left him. Now he watches Baker manage his home-town team, with former teammate Davey Lopes coaching first base.
Turner said he saw a need for a book like this for his two daughters, Ella (10) and Nora (9), with son Patrick (3) on the way up.
Continue reading “30 baseball books for April, ’17, Day 30: This dad has baseball’s back … for his kids and everyone else’s” »

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Sunday media: Who pays the price when ESPN overpays for sports? (Hint: You, then …)

“I heard it was coming like everyone and because what’s going on with our shows now, as we’re building it, I did feel somewhat safe,” Jeremy Schaap, who has spent about half his life at ESPN, a fixture on programming like the journalism-based “E60” and “Outside The Lines,” was telling us the other day.
“When you realize that if these guys are expendable, those women are expendable, then we all are in some way, right?”
Sorry if the “E” in ESPN now seems to represents “Expendables” or “Ex-Employees.” There’s no entertainment value in that.
Our educated explanation for why ESPN needed to downsize days before another stockholders’ earning share report and the trickle down effect it could have as it tries to reconfigure a new game plan.

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It’s Out of the Question: How does Rolling Hills Country Club stay the course to make good on a Pac-12 promise?

One of the benefits of the Rolling Hills Country Club’s location is the views it gets of downtown L.A. and beyond from its bluff. This hole shows that view, but the course has been completely redesigned to have the new clubhouse get that view as well.

Pardon our dust, but …
What if we told you there’s about 160 acres of prime Southern California real estate undergoing a major overhaul, with the high-leveraged intent of planting a championship golf course drawn up by one of the hottest designers in the world these days, and very few know it’s even happening?
And despite the fact that at this moment it looks more like a Fred Flintstone rock quarry and could be a pain in the grass to keep it on schedule, the Pac 12 Conference has already committed to stage its men’s championship there a year from now?
Is that a Phi Beta Kappa move, for either party?
“All the infrastructure and grading is done and we control our own destiny at this point,” said Rolling Hills Country Club general manager Greg Sullivan after a golf-cart whip-around tour of what is still in the creation process on a bluff overlooking Pacific Coast Highway to one of the most gorgeous panoramic views of L.A. and beyond.
“The only issue at this point: Will it be open to play on Sept. 15 or 30?”
Or face more delays?
More on this at this link….

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30 baseball books in April, ’17: Day 29: Dodgers … Reds … 1970s … what’s to forget?


Imagine Pete Rose and Steve Garvey talking about their on-field Reds-Dodgers battles? It happened here in 2016.

The book: “Cincinnati Red and Dodger Blue: Baseball’s Greatest Forgotten Rivalry”
The author: Tom Van Riper
The vital statistics: Rowman & Littlefield, 208 pages, $38, released April 16
Find it: At Amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble, at Powells.com, at Vromans.com, at the publishers’ website.

The pitch: The premise is flawed.
Seven straight seasons — a glorious stretch from 1972 to ’78 — it was either Sparky Anderson’s Reds or the Walter Alston/Tommy Lasorda Dodgers punching their way through the NL West to gain one of the then-four precious playoff spots. The Reds won four of the seven, but never easily. In six of the seven, either the Dodgers or Reds ended up as the NL rep in the World Series.
There would be years when the Dodgers would win 95 games and miss the playoffs (the Reds won 99 in 1973), or the Reds would win 98 and miss it (the Dodgers won 102 in ’74).
The combined rosters could have made up half the NL All-Star team each July.
There were NL MVPs aplenty.
So how is that forgotten? Maybe for those who have a short memory or a 21st Century birth certificate and never bothered to ask>
Of course, the NL West at that time was a big geographical mess. The Dodgers and Reds should never have been gathered in that Group of Death – Cincinnati and Atlanta should have been in the NL East, with the Cubs and Cardinals shifted to the West, but that’s a whole other political issue – perhaps worth exploring in a book like this.
Continue reading “30 baseball books in April, ’17: Day 29: Dodgers … Reds … 1970s … what’s to forget?” »

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