April 18, 2014

Two Very Different Pitchers: Two Very Different Books

March 18, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

You would be hard-pressed to find two pitchers more dissimilar than Robin Roberts and R.A. Dickey. Though Dickey is the only one of the pair to win a Cy Young Award, he will never approach the Hall of Fame status of Roberts, who was elected in 1976. Roberts pitched his final major league game at […]

Willie Mays Aikens is Finally “Safe at Home”

December 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It was October 18, 1980 and Kansas City’s slugging first baseman, Willie Mays Aikens, had just made history when he blasted his second homer of Game 4 of the World Series, becoming the first player to enjoy multiple two-homer games in the same Fall Classic.  Although the Royals lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in six […]

“Pages From Baseball’s Past” Is a Real Treat For Fans of All Ages

December 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

I’ve known Craig Wright for a few years now and have known of him since I read The Diamond Appraised when it came out almost 25 years ago, so I was thrilled to hear that he wrote a new book.  I’m also well aware of Wright’s work at his website “Pages From Baseball’s Past,” so […]

Mr. Wrigley’s Ball Club, Chicago & the Cubs During the Jazz Age

November 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Cubs used to be good.  Seriously.  You just have to reach really far back. It was a time before the Internet, Twitter, TV and World War II.  It was the Jazz Age, when America was putting the First World War – “The Great War” – behind it, drinking gin despite Prohibition, enjoying new things […]

Baseball Beyond Borders

August 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Between 1998 and 2012, the international players participating on teams in MLB increased from approximately twenty to twenty-seven percent. After finishing their careers, a fraction of them had opportunities to be full or part time employees in the front offices of American or National League (AL or NL) teams. Some former ballplayers decided to become […]

The Summer Book You Have Been Waiting For: “Philadelphia’s Top 50 Baseball Players”

May 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Sweet 60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates

April 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

For those who have known me for longer than fifteen minutes, learn that I am a ‘Die hard’ Pittsburgh Pirates fan.  The 1971 team is my favorite Pirates’ team of all-time.  But I have a strange relationship with the 1960 version.  One might describe it as destiny, like the Pirates beating the New York Yankees […]

American Jews & America’s Game: A Review

April 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball is so much more than the action on the field and in the box scores. Untold numbers of people have used the game to help shape who they are, and connect them with their ethnicities and national identities on whole new levels. Larry Ruttman’s American Jews & America’s Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy […]

Projecting X: How To Forecast Baseball Player Performance

April 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Learn the secrets to projecting baseball player performance and dominate your fantasy draft!In Projecting X: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, FanGraphs expert Mike Podhorzer takes you on a journey through the process of projecting baseball player performance. As he walks you through an assortment of both basic and advanced metrics, citing various pieces of […]

Book Review: Drama and Pride in the Gateway City

April 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When Mike Lynch asked whether any of his website contributors were interested in reading and writing a review of Drama and Pride in the Gateway City, I jumped at the chance. First off, I love to read, and read a lot.  Second, I love baseball.  Lastly, I have never been asked to give my opinion […]

Willie Mays Aikens: Hard Living, Hard Times and Hard-Cover Books

January 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Willie Mays Aikens once had a promising major league baseball career that came to a premature end in 1985 because of his personal demons. Although his problems robbed him of his career and led to serving a 14-year prison sentence, he pushed through and is finally back on track after a detour that lasted more […]

Yankee Miracles: Life With the Boss and the Bronx Bombers

November 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

When my buddy Joe Favorito asked for my address because he had something he wanted to send me, I gladly forwarded it to him not knowing what to expect, but figuring it would be worth my while.  The package arrived and when I opened it I couldn’t believe my eyes; there in front of me […]

Baseball State by State, A Review

August 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

There are many fine baseball resource books to keep close at hand and Chris Jensen has added another. My favorite is Paul Dickson’s Baseball Dictionary, but Chris Jensen’s Baseball State by State may have more practical value, even if it lacks Dickson’s wonderful illustrations. The strength of the aggregation is two-fold. While there is no […]

The Yankee Way: A Review of Pinstripe Empire

August 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

As a Red Sox fan I thought I had heard it all when it came to the glory of the New York Yankees and their 27 World Series titles. It’s a refrain frequently presented in a matter of fact tone to anyone with the audacity to challenge the place of the Yankees at the top […]

Jury Is Out On John Grisham’s Baseball Novel

June 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“At long last,” it says on the back cover of John Grisham’s new novel,Calico Joe, “America’s favorite storyteller takes on America’s favorite pastime.” Calico Joe is a good story, smoothly and movingly told, although after page 19 I was able to predict most of what would happen the rest of the way. A bigger tipoff appears one […]

Reviewing The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown

June 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Let’s face it; for many of us baseball fans the game is not always about who won or lost. It’s about the story and the journey of our favorite teams and players, which are comprised of plays; the unusual, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Perhaps more than any other sport baseball has a […]

“A Unique Look At Big League Baseball” A Must Have For Seamheads

May 21, 2012 by · 6 Comments 

The following was originally posted in early January but Joe’s book is so good, I decided to post it again. For most normal people, New Year’s Eve is all about bidding the old year adieu and ringing in the new one with friends, family, Dick Clark, Times Square, Jenny McCarthy kissing a dude she’d just […]

Driving Mr. Yogi

May 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

In the recently released book, Driving Mr. Yogi by Harvey Araton, the front seat is occupied ably by Yogi Berra and Ron Guidry, but the back seat is filled with the Pantheon of modern day Yankee heroes. Characteristically, George Steibrenner spills over into the front and tries to take the wheel. But Yogi Berra is too much […]

Book Review: 60’6″

May 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

                    60’6″: Balls, Strikes, and Baseball Mortality, the debut novel from former college and semipro pitcher Mike Arsenault, is a portrait of a young man clinging to an impossible dream and wondering what lies beyond.  Arsenault uses baseball as his backdrop, but his story transcends the […]

Banzai Babe Ruth: A Review

May 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

No matter how popular the NFL or NBA becomes, baseball still holds the title of America’s pastime.  For over a century it has been seen as a way to connect Americans with fellow countrymen and those from abroad, but is that a true representation?  Baseball has also served as a backdrop to larger diplomatic and […]

A People’s History of Baseball: A Review

April 2, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Baseball is steeped in the notion of myth and the existence of a narrative declaring the game to be a bastion of good and American wholesomeness. Such contrivances interfere with the study of history, making it difficult to find works associated with baseball that are able to push through such obstacles. With the publishing of […]

Changed Forever

March 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

In 1968 baseball’s golden era did not go gently into that good night of historical lore and remembrance. It went out with the bang of Bob Gibson and Mickey Lolich fighting it out in one of the great pitching duels ever, one that played out in the final game game of the ’68 World Series. […]

A Pilgrimage To the Past

March 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball is all about connections. Players make connections with teammates that extend beyond the playing field and beyond their careers. Management links combinations of people whose connections strengthen the collective effort. As fans, we connect with teams, players, and events, and each of us accumulates a rich fabric of memories, favorites, and unfulfilled wishes. Every […]

“Out Of My League: A Rookie’s Survival In The Bigs”

February 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I first met Dirk Hayhurst after The Bullpen Gospels had already been a hit on the New York Times best-seller list.  In fact, that’s why I reached out to him—he was a big league pitcher who also had the ability to write, two things I admire and respect.  I found Dirk to be engaging, open […]

“Long Taters” Goes Deep

February 27, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

I first met Ron Anderson via email three years ago when he replied to a post I made about my search for contributors to Seamheads.com.  Ron and I struck up a friendship and I was thrilled to learn he was in the early stages of a book about one of my all-time favorite players—George “Boomer” […]

Good Show, Mr. Bailey

February 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Back in the good old disco ’70s, I had the thrill of working a New England amusement park roller coaster for three consecutive summers. It was me and four other impressionable, party-loving young guys and the pay was crap, but we had so many vivid, unforgettable moments I can still feel the sensation of stopping […]

Fenway 1912: Glenn Stout’s Fascinating History of Fenway Park and the 1912 Red Sox

January 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Fenway Park is one of the most historic and well known landmarks in all of baseball and Boston. Despite its modern notoriety, the home of the Red Sox is the oldest major league stadium still in play, and is about to celebrate its 100th anniversary later this spring. Professional sport venues typically have lives that […]

A Book as “Terrific” as Its Subject

January 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Like the “The Little Engine that Could,” Tom Seaver began a steep climb saying “I think I can. I think I can.” Seaver’s mom, Betty, grafted the story into her son’s DNA by reading it to him as a child. Seaver always thought he could do whatever he set out to do, and usually he […]

A Real Dandy

December 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Juan Marichal won more games than anyone in the 1960s. That’s some accomplishment for the “Dominican Dandy” who began playing ball using branches for bats and socks wrapped around golf balls for baseballs. “We just loved the game so much that, as a kid, anywhere you saw other kids playing, you wanted to be there,” […]

Celebrating Mets History Anyway

December 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week was a tough one for Mets fans as Jose Reyes has done what most New Yorkers can’t manage until they’re twice his age–he took the money and fled to Florida. The team might be in for the Second Dark Ages the next few years, reminiscent of the forgettable seasons between the departure of […]

Starting Something Great

December 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

When the Red Sox assembled their dream roster last offseason, many wrote them into the World Series without hesitation. We still don’t understand all that went wrong, but what we do know is that the “greatest team ever” label was not to be. Author Thomas J. Whalen argues that even the 2004 title winner did […]

In an Instant

November 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

What if you were known for one thing most of your life? What if that one thing was not favorable? That’s the story Ralph Branca tells in “A Moment in Time” with David Ritz. Read this book because: 1. Good or bad, baseball is one of life’s few constants. (Well, almost.) There’s nothing like the […]

Simple Pleasures

November 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

With Thanksgiving almost upon us, what better time to “take time for paradise”?  That’s the name of Bart Giamatti’s classic book from 1989. It was re-released earlier this year. If you are fond of nostalgia, take a look back at what the former baseball commissioner had to say. Read this book because: 1. It is […]

The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach

October 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

After finishing Chad Harbach’s fine baseball novel, The Art of Fielding, on Friday night, I could not help seeing Joe Maddon astride the bow of his whaler, with Evan Longoria and the lads manning the oars behind him as their captain sinks his harpoon into the great white, pin-striped leviathan. The book stews its baseball slowly […]

A Book To Be Savored

September 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

There seems to be no debate in baseball history circles about the identity of the game’s greatest photographer: Charles Conlon. If/when the Hall of Fame stops dithering and institutes an annual award for baseball photography, it will be named after Conlon. With good reason: the New York-based Conlon took thousands of photos from 1905-1942, capturing […]

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