December 7, 2023

A Deep and Interesting Dive Into the World of Scouting

April 15, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball scouts usually fly under the radar. While fans follow the exploits of their favorite players, few know anything about the scouts who signed them. Good teams and die-hard baseball fans, however, understand and appreciate their contributions. Author Lee Lowenfish takes a deep, interesting dive into the world of scouts in Baseball’s Endangered Species: Inside […]

Pitching Legend Failed to Harness “A Gift from God.”

August 20, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

If ever there was a baseball legend, it’s Steve Dalkowski, a life-long minor leaguer, whose combination of speed (the fastest pitcher ever, according to many) and wildness endlessly frustrated those who tried to harness his incredible potential.The authors of Dalko: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Fastest Pitcher write that Steve “had a once in a […]

Bringing Back Fond Memories of The Rock

July 23, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

The first baseball season I remember was 1960. As an 11-year-old, that season was very memorable. One of the first big baseball stories that year was the Cleveland Indians trading Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers for Harvey Kuenn. How could Indians GM Frank Lane trade the American League home run champ, even if it […]

Was Lifetime Ban a Raw Deal For Benny Kauff?

April 22, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

BANNED FOR LIFE: The Benny Kauff Story Benny Kauff was known as the “Ty Cobb of the Federal League.” The 5-foot-8, 175-pound, left-handed hitting outfield won the FL battling titles in 1914 and 1915, hitting .370 and .342. The 24-year-old put together a sensational year in 1914 while playing for the Indianapolis Hoosiers. Besides hitting […]

One of the Most Intriguing Players In Baseball History

March 15, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Pete Reiser of the Brooklyn Dodgers is one of the most intriguing players in baseball history. In 1941, he batted .343 and won a batting title at age 22. He also led the National League in runs, doubles, triples, total bases, slugging, and OPS. He was the starting centerfielder in the All-Star Game and finished […]

Sports Book Reviews

September 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The seasons keep changing and the sports books keep coming. They are focused on all kinds of subjects, approaches, dealing with different sports. Herewith, for your reading, exciting tomes dealing with baseball, football, tennis. Hank Greenberg in 1938 by Ron Kaplan (Sports Publishing, $24.95, 235 pages) is an important book for its subject, its time […]

Book Review: “Baseball’s Most Baffling MVP Ballots”

May 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

For years I’d toyed with the idea of writing a book about Most Valuable Players and MVP ballots, mostly because one hadn’t been written in a while—or at least to my satisfaction—and none that I was aware of used stats like Wins Above Replacement or Win Shares to compare players. I was also curious to […]

The Wonderful Writings of Donald Honig

December 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Donald Honig is perhaps best known for picking up the mantle of Lawrence Ritter and carrying on the valuable work of preserving the history of the National Pastime through the oral reminiscences of ballplayers. But a closer look at his body of work reveals much more than interviews. In his towering history of baseball, Baseball […]

A Delightful History–“Willie’s Time” by Charles Einstein

July 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In Willie’s Time, Charles Einstein weaves a fine tale from the strands of the stellar career of the ‘Say Hey Kid’ and the fine mesh of society’s changes over a period of twenty-two years. Ingeniously divided into sections representing the five presidencies that came and went during Mays’s career, we see the ballplayer grow from […]

The Millers and the Saints: A Review

June 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Fans have traditionally been drawn to the game of baseball for many reasons but one that keeps them coming back over and over again is the fantastic rivalries that develop between teams. These are created by regionalism, annual competitiveness and star players that are compared and contrasted against each other. Not reserved to just the […]

For Father’s Day: Unlike Brad, This Pennington Finds Home Plate

June 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius Bill Pennington New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015 530 pages They say that baseball is about fathers and sons. They say a lot of tripe, but there is some truth in that. I rewatched a few episodes of Ken Burns’ Baseball over spring training in preparation for this year’s baseball […]

“Pennant Race/The Long Season” by Jim Brosnan

May 10, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Jim Brosnan was a solid pitcher, most effectively in relief, for the Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, and White Sox, concluding his career in 1963 with his brief sojourn in the junior circuit. His best year by  far was in 1961 with the pennant winning Redlegs when he went 10-4 with 16 saves. Brosnan, who passed away […]

New Mexico’s Pueblo Baseball League: A Review

April 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Although other sports may get more viewers on television or fare better in straw polls about popularity, make no mistake about it, baseball is the National Pastime and an integral part of the history of the United States. The game has impacted countless regions of the country and its people over the years. It is […]

“Baseball is a Funny Game” by Joe Garagiola

April 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When Joe Garagiola’s first book, Baseball Is a Funny Game, was published in 1960, an era of the national pastime was coming to an end. A gentle breeze of change had begun wafting over the landscape of baseball in 1953, when the Boston Braves, conceding the Hub’s hegemony to the Red Sox, decamped for Milwaukee […]

Of Baseball, Booze and Bodies—“Mystery Ball ’58: A Season-Long Whodunit”

April 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

“Tough to make out a dead body when it’s covered in peanut shells and Royal Crown Cola. But there it was.” That’s how Jeff “J.P.” Polman’s baseball murder mystery, Mystery Ball ’58: A Season-Long Whodunit begins and from there it’s a wild ride full of…well…mystery and intrigue that expertly mixes real life characters from the […]

The Minneapolis Millers of the American Association: A Review

April 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The big leagues may get the lion’s share of recognition but make no mistake about it; minor leagues have been the essential lifeblood of baseball since the game became a profession. Preserving the history of these leagues is just as important as the meticulous record keeping and story collecting of the majors. Fortunately, there are […]

The Ecstasy & Agony of Being a Red Sox Fan: A Review

September 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Being a fan of the Boston Red Sox can be much more than just following the statistics and the standings. Some adherents see their moods and even their very outlooks on life impacted by the baseball team from Beantown. It’s a rite of passage and a birthright for many, and Stanley Harris has outlined his […]

Book Review: The Last Best League

August 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Every year, the top college baseball players gather about 70 miles southeast of Boston to hone their skills and showcase their talents in front of amateur scouts from all 30 Major League Baseball teams. This is the Cape Cod League, the most prestigious of all the college summer leagues, made of 10 teams that play […]

Veeck – As In Wreck

July 19, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Book Review: Veeck – As In Wreck Bill Veeck would have turned 100 this year and assuredly would have had a lot to say. Veeck is remembered for owning the Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox at various points from the 1940s to the 1970s and his autobiography, Veeck – […]

Tales From the Deadball Era Fun For All

July 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

When I learned that Mark Halfon’s Tales From the Deadball Era: Ty Cobb, Home Run Baker, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and the Wildest Times in Baseball History had been released I couldn’t wait to crack it open.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Rather than chronicle the Deadball Era (1901-1920) in chronological order, Halfon takes a different approach and […]

Book Review: “Down to the Last Pitch”

May 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The 1991 World Series was the first that I remember watching as a kid. My elementary school friend was rooting for the Twins, so naturally, I chose the Braves. While I was in awe of the spectacle and being able to watch the players that I knew from all of my trading cards, I knew […]

Mover and Shaker: Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers, & Baseball’s Westward Expansion

May 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Walter O’Malley’s culpability for the Brooklyn Dodgers move to Los Angeles is thoroughly covered in this book as is the account of his struggles when he got to Los Angeles. Andy McCue covers this with an expert’s hand as he does with O’Malley’s Tammany Hall background, Los Angeles politics of the mid twentieth century and […]

Book Review: “1954”

April 19, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

“1954” is the latest book from J. G. Taylor Spink Award recipient Bill Madden. Madden has covered Baseball for the New York Daily News for over 30 years and his most recent book, Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball, was a New York Times Bestseller. As the title suggests, “1954” chronicles the 1954 Baseball Season. […]

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 · 2 Comments 

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 

Baseball fans and fathers rejoice! The perfect summer baseball book for the Philly sports fan has arrived in time for trips to the Jersey Shore and Father’s Day gift requests.  Rich Westcott’s “Philadelphia’s Top 50 Baseball Players” complements every person’s interest level who appreciates the city’s baseball history. In order to make the cut for […]

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 […]

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