Tagged: Atlanta Braves

McFarland is a True Friend of the Baseball Reader


I realize as always that I am way behind on posting on this blog.  That doesn’t mean the reading has stopped on my end, it just means my book reports are a little late.  I get review books from publishers fairly regularly, sometimes requested and sometimes not.  But my perspective is they are all worth taking a look at.  Some publishers may be of the one and done variety with the publication of baseball books.  While others keep the sport in their lie-up on a regular basis.  Year after year McFarland Publishing falls into that later category and this past year is no exception.  These pictures are just a sampling of what has made its way across my desk from them this year.

From team biographies, individual player biographies, the history of the game to the social impacts certain teams, events or people have had on the game, McFarland has you, the reader, covered.  Some of the subjects are obscure, while others are mainstream, but they still take the road of getting books in print that other publishers turn their noses up at.

Another aspect I find important about McFarland’s catalog is that they bring player Biographies to market that would otherwise fall to the wayside and never be published.  How many times have we as readers asked, I wonder if this player has a book and you come to realize that they don’t.  McFarland seems to be willing to bring obscure players and authors for that matter, to the market.  For baseball readers this should be an item of importance.  I for one know that the eight bio’s I have on Reggie Jackson are more than enough.

I don’t know if they publish on a self publishing platform or operate on a more traditional scale, and frankly I don’t care.  They allow me the opportunity as a reader to learn and enjoy books about people and subjects within the sport that have been overlooked or flat-out ignored.  Some of these subjects may not excite everyone, and that is understandable, but honestly if you give their vast catalog a chance, there will be something that will peak your interest as a baseball fan.

You can check out their full catalog at McFarland Books and see if there is something that sparks your interest to dive further into this great game.  It is massive and ever-changing and honestly introduced me to some great topics and great new authors as well.

Happy Reading

Gregg

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Rowman & Littlefield Knocking ’em Out for Baseball Fans


In prior posts we have taken a look at book publishers that dedicate some of their new releases to baseball books.  Baseball is easiest the most popular of the four major sports in regards to books and fans always come through and support the good books.  Rowman & Littlefield is no stranger to the baseball book realm and through the years have produced some great books for the fans enjoyment.  With the pending long, hard winter staring us all in the face I figured now would be a good time to showcase some of R&L’s offering from this past season.  They have a wide array of topics and they are sure to have something for almost every fan longing for baseball.

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By:Hal Bock-2016

This book could not have picked a better year to be published.  Having the good fortune to capitalize on the Chicago Cubs breaking the curse that has hampered them for decades.  Noted Historian Hal Bock takes a look at the last Cubs dynasty, you remember that one that came before World War I.  It looks at the powerhouse teams the Cubs were able to produce and how they were one of the most feared teams of their time.  It showcases a colorful cast of characters that called Chicago home and how they were central to the team’s success.  It also provides some rare photos and takes the reader back to a time before the Cubs were the lovable losers.

If anyone really enjoyed this years World Series victory, then they should check this book out.  It transports the reader to a time when World Series victories were the norm for the Cubs, not some sort of a once in a lifetime moment.  A very enjoyable walk down memory lane that is well worth the time reading it.

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By:John A. Wood-2016

Baseball during its history, has been full of characters to say the least.  You could almost classify this book into the good, the bad and the ugly.  Just for good measure you could throw in the sad as well.  It takes a look at players lives outside of the game during their careers as well as their lives after baseball.  The book sticks to legendary names of the game so it is a roster of players most fans are familiar with and possibly will shed some new light on some of their personalities.  It goes well beyond statistics and shows what these guys were like on a man to man level.

It shines a whole new light on the legends of the game and will help readers possibly understand why some of these players did what they did during their lives.  The book covers a wide array of stars and eras so there should be someone in here everybody will relate to, no matter whom your team allegiance lies with.

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By:Steven Elliott Tripp-2016

The past few years Ty Cobb has been as popular in the baseball book world as ever.  There are contradicting stories about his personality that have arisen over the past few years and has changed the ways in which people perceive Cobb.  No matter where you lie on the subject their is never going to be a definitive answer as to the man’s personality, but that will not stop the book world from trying.

The author takes a unique approach on this one and reviews Cobb’s personality from a rural Southern upbringing and the mentality of the times.  He compares it to the current day expectations of social behavior and shows the differences and transgressions.  Tripp also reviews Cobb’s place as a sports icon in Cultural, Social and Gender histories, both within the game and our country.  It is a unique approach on a man that passed more than a half century ago and sheds some interesting ideas on what Ty Cobb was all about.  Time marches on and so may be the ever changing legacy of Ty Cobb.

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By:Keith Craig-2016

A welcome addition to any fans library is this book.  It is a subject and player that in the past has been overlooked so there is not that much information out there about him.  It looks at Pennock’s stellar career for the pre-dynasty New York Yankees and the contributions he made to the game.  Pennock came within four outs of being the first Pitcher to throw a World Series No-Hitter.  In interviews with family and remaining friends of Pennock, the author paints a vivid picture of a great player and a well liked man.

The book also touches on his second career as General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.  It was his work that guided their farm system to new heights and levels of production.  This book was truly a welcomed learning experience for me and would add to any fans arsenal of baseball player knowledge.

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By:Sherman L. Jenkins-2016

Step aside Bo Jackson, Ted Strong Jr., was the original multi-sport superstar.  A player in both the Negro Leagues and a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, Strong could pretty much do it all.  He is a widely overlooked subject in today’s sports realm and this book is reversing that injustice.  This biography shows the readers the determination and sheer guts that drove this man to obtain his goals throughout his life.  Through interviews with family and friends this is another book that sheds light on an often overlooked subject and expands the fans knowledge base of the game.

This is another book that was a welcome learning experience and I think it is very important to remember those who hard work and dedication this game is built upon.  Fans of any league or sport for that matter,  will not be disappointed in this one.

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By:Rocco Constantino-2016

Someone sound the subjective alarm, we have reached that point in our book round-up.  These types of books are always of the subjective nature and that is not meant to say any of them are bad by design.  It is just to say that you are falling into the author’s idea of what constitutes a great moment within the game.  I may think one play is more important than another, but in essence it only matters what the author thinks.  These types of books are great for sparking debate among friends and may honestly generate some disputes that are never settled.  It is the design of these books to do this and perhaps to some degree their purpose as well.

Constantino’s book is well written, greatly detailed and he presents concise arguments as to why each of these moments should be considered one of the games 50 greatest ones.  These books are hard for me to review because I don’t always agree with the 50, but the do allow the opportunity to spark some great debates among friends………….so have at it !

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By:Bryan Soderholm-Difatte-2016

Obviously the most important event during the Golden Era was integration.  It changed the landscape of the game and to some degree society as well.  When you see these types of books about this era they are mainly focused on segregation.  While this one does give segregation its due a s a monumental event of the time it also discusses some other events that were taking place in the background of the game.  It was a time when baseball was at the forefront of American society and minor things like a change in the on field strategies, the use of a player/manager and the views of pinch hitters were all happening.  Relief pitchers were evolving, defensive strategies changed and it was all happening right in front of our eyes, the problem was no one was really noticing.

It is a different look at this era than we have seen before and really makes the reader sit up and take notice of what else transpired during one of the most, if not the most important era in the history of the game.

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By:Peter Bjarkman-2016

If you have an interest in Cuban baseball, then this is the book you need.  Bjarkman is the end all, be all authority on Cuban baseball.  He knows every inside story on every player in the country and understands the Cuban culture, which allows him to understand the mindset of the players.  He is the man ahead of the headlines and shares with his readers the back stories of the players that have come into the U.S over the past few years, how Cuban baseball factors into the lives of those who live in the country and how baseball has aided in helping the relations between Cuba and the U.S.

This is a very comprehensive work and Bjarkman is second to none on his knowledge of the Cuban game, their players and the proud society of Cuba.  If you want to learn about Cuban baseball, I will say it again, you need not look any farther than here.  Bjarkman has spent 20 plus years on this subject and it shows through in this body of work.

These great baseball titles and lots of others are available from Rowman & Littlefield

Check out their back catalog as well because there are lots of diverse subject on the baseball front there as well.

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

 

Induction Day Round-Up


It’s the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 Induction day today.  The one day a year where that sleepy little hamlet in upstate New York looks like Times Square at 11:59 p.m. on New Years Eve.  As I watched the speeches of the new members today I took notice as the MLB Network panned around the field, of all the diverse people in attendance.  Family, former players, members of the Hall and of course, the people who honestly make this great game possible through their support, the fans.  Different people from different generations, backgrounds and paths in life all come together for one day and celebrate the greatness of our game.  On days like this you never know who is going to be in the crowd but you can be sure its an interesting mix of fans and baseball history.  For the reason of diversity and in honor of Induction day, we are going to look at a very diverse group of books that are currently available in the market and why you should check them out.

1-When the Braves Ruled the Diamond-14 Flags Over Atlanta

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By Dan Schlossberg-2016 Sports Publishing

Take some time to reminisce about the Atlanta Braves.  People can say that the Yankees were the team of the 90’s because of their championships, but honestly who was the one team that you was sure was going to be in post season play?  Yes, these Braves!  It is a fun look at what made these N.L. East destroying teams from Atlanta repeat year after year after year.  The only thing that stood in their way in one magical year or their run was my Phillies in 1993.  As with Schlossberg’s other books, this one is time well spent re-living the magical ride of the Atlanta Braves.

2-Tony C.-The Triumph and Tragedy of Tony Conigliaro

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By:David Cataneo-2016 Summer Game Books

This one is a new edition by a new publisher of the 1997 release under the same name.  While not a new book, it is a reminder of the tragedy that can plague our game.  A beloved hero in Boston whose career and life was cut tragically short.  A career full of promise and from most accounts a pretty interesting guy off the field as well, this book chronicles the story of Tony C.  and what he meant to the Fenway Faithful.  I read this when it first came out about 20 years ago and really enjoyed reading it through the fresh edition from Summer Game Books.  Another book that will easily get you through the remaining dog days of Summer.

3-A Life Lived-The Story of William “Bill” Blair

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By:William “Bill” Blair-2013 AuthorHouse Publishing

A very inspiring story of a former Negro League player and his life after baseball.  A short book that comes in under 90 pages but still tells the inspiring story of William ” Bill” Blair and how he spent his life after baseball giving back to his hometown community.  A great story of a man who never forgot where he came from and how baseball inspired him his whole life through.  A quick read, but well worth the time.

4-Last Train to Cooperstown

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By:Kevin Mitchell-2015 Black Rose Writing

Author Kevin Mitchell takes a look at the inadvertent but probably final class of Negro League inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.  The book offers thorough profiles on each of the chosen few and what their contributions to the game were.  He also offers a conclusion as to what may occur with others from the Negro Leagues in the future.  Its very good insight into this well deserved class of Negro Leaguers that made the hall in 2006.

5-Tales From the San Francisco Giants Dugout

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By: Nick Peters and Stuart Shea-2016 Sports Publishing

An updated and re-release of previous versions, this new issue adds some new stories and anecdotes about the Giants and their fans.  If you are a fan of this team you will not want to miss this book.  There also are the same books available for almost every other team out there, so check Sports Publishing’s website if you are looking for another team.  These books are always a good time for the reader.

6-The Tigers and Yankees in ’61

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By:Jim Sargent-2016 McFarland

Another magical year in baseball history is showcased in this one.  A hard fought pennant race, the chase to make history for teammates and a few star players who had career years.  The Yankees are getting near the end of their dominating years in this one but does show the reader what the American League landscape looked like during this era.  If you are a fan of this era and a fan of the types of books McFarland publishes as well, then this is a book you will not want to miss.

7-A Band of Misfits-Tales of the 2010 San Francisco Giants-Triumph Books

8-The Fightin’ Phillies-100 Years of Phillies Baseball-Triumph Books

I group these together because while the may be different, they have very strong similarities.  The both cover a specific team and give important anecdotes and stories about their histories.  Whether they are covering one specific season or a full century worth of that teams stories, they are entertaining for fans of the respective teams.  The only warning I give readers on these types of books is to go into them realizing these are the same stories you have probably heard 100 times over.  You will probably get no new stories out of these, but they are good for reminiscing about your favorite team.

9-Jackie Robinson-An Integrated Life

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By:J. Christopher Schultz-2016 Rowman & Littlefield

Another perspective on the groundbreaking life of Jackie Robinson.  We are all familiar with the story, but instead of taking it from a baseball point of view, it shows the results from a social impact perspective.  It puts a different spin on the whole Jackie Robinson story and adds new insights to the entire story.  Jackie Robinson’s admirable legacy is about so much more than just baseball, and this is only one of the many different angles.

10-Out of Left Field-Jews and Black Baseball

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By: Rebecca Alpert-2011 Oxford University Press

Another book that takes a look at the social impact a baseball team had on our world. This one takes a look at how a team made up of black Jews made a name for themselves in the Negro Leagues.  It shows how they were able to further the cause of the Negro Leagues and help promote social justices.  It was a bit of history I had no idea about and a very good learning experience for me.  If you have any sort of interest in the Negro Leagues then check this one out.

11-The Cardinals Way

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By:Howard Megdal-2016 Thomas Dunne Books

The Cardinals have come to be America’s team.  I am not really sure how that happened, but they have through their history churned out some great moments and players that will be remembered for decades to come.  By embracing that history and tradition as well as the new theories such as Moneyball, they have become a baseball powerhouse.  It shows how combining old and new methods of thinking can have positive outcomes.  I am thinking you will see more and more teams following this ideology in the future.

12-The Knuckleball Club

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By: Richard A. Johnson-2016 Rowman & Littlefield

An in depth look at the most confounding pitch ever to grace the game of baseball.  The who’s, whats and why’s of this quirky pitch are covered in this book.  It also shares the stories of the Pitchers and Catchers who shared the success of the weird and wild pitch.  This is the first book I have found that has shown how it fits into the fabric of the game, and is great knowledge for the average baseball fan.  Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

13-The Games That Changed Baseball-Milestones in Major League History

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By: John Robertson and Andy Saunders-2016 McFarland

This book takes a look at some very important games throughout history.  Dissecting what happened and what made them so important.  While I do not agree with 100 percent of their picks, all of them were well researched and presented.  Fans should check out this book and see if they agree with all of the authors picks.  It does introduce some games that would probably create some very spirited debates among fans and friends.

Finally, after we got through all of these books today, I wanted to say a word of thanks to everyone who reads my blog.  We have reached our second anniversary and have read a lot of books together up to this point.  I do the best I can since this is a hobby and not my job and try and turn out material as quickly as possible.  With the pending arrival of our first bundle of joy in the next few weeks, year #3 will be a challenge but I will still find a way to get some posts done.  I thank all of you who have sent me books and allowed me to read them and post reviews.  Also to the folks that read my posts because without you, there would be no reason to write them.  Finally if you have sent me a book recently and I have not posted it yet, don’t worry you are not forgotten.  I am a little behind for the reasons stated above but you will not be forgotten, please just be patient.  Thank you to all again and looking forward to year #3.

Happy Reading

Gregg

Willie Stargell-A Life in Baseball


I have mentioned before how I find it odd  how certain great players get lost to the passage of time.  I don’t know if that is a product of playing for a smaller market team, playing in the shadow of a teammate or them being the type of player that does not seek the spotlight of the media.  Whatever the case may be, today’s book takes a look at one of those players that left a huge mark on the field but never seems to get the full recognition he deserves.

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By Frank Garland-2013

Over the past year I have talked on here about two or three other Willie Stargell books.  I have come to the same conclusion with each one that he was an extremely underrated player that was finally getting his deserved props even if they were coming posthumously.

Frank Garland takes an approach to Willie Stargell that is in many ways like the other books.  Looking at his upbringing in California, through his time in the segregated minor leagues to his rise to stardom as member of the Pittsburgh Pirates that culminated in immortality in Cooperstown.  Garland’s research  is very thorough and paints a very detailed and complete picture of Willie Stargell the baseball player.

What is different about this book from the others out there is Garland takes his research beyond just the field.  He gets involved in the story line of Stargell’s life after baseball. This area is one place where the other biographies fail in comparison.  This book shows Willie’s love and involvement in the classical music scene after his retirement.  It also shows his involvement as a coach with the Atlanta Braves.  Many people forget that Willie was a coach in the Braves system and his tutelage left an undeniable mark on some of their up and coming big league prospects.  These are the same prospects that when they finally came to the big leagues won 15 or so division championships.  It shows the knowledge Stargell possessed and how he was able to pass it on to a new era of superstars.

This book is another example of giving Willie Stargell his accolades while presenting some different aspects of the player and the man.  If you have read other Stargell biographies you may find some of what is talked about repetitive, but in the end it does present some new information that was not included in other books.  The book does move along at a moderate pace and allows the reader to stay engaged with the story.

I have yet to figure out why Willie Stargell is relegated to the shadows.  Is it playing in Pittsburgh his entire career, is it the quiet strength he brought to his team or is it playing in the shadow of Robert Clemente?  I am not sure if it is all or any of these but they are reasonable questions to ask.  For this fan though, it is nice to see Willie Stargell remembered for being the superstar that he was both on and off the field.

You can get this book from the nice folks at McFarland

Willie Stargell- A Life in Baseball

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

 

 

Odds and Ends-Spring 2016


I figured with my extended time off to recuperate I would have plenty of time to write on my blog.  Boy was  I wrong, between needing to get up and walk around every ten minutes because I am stiffening up and the fact the the medicines keep knocking me out, I am having trouble finding the time to write, let alone read.  But, what it has done is given me the chance to look at some books that I would not always feel were the correct fit for an entire single post.  The book could be too short, it could be a coffee table book or it could be a book that doesn’t really target my audience.  These are in no way bad books, because honestly if they sucked, I wouldn’t waste the time putting them on here for everyone to look at them, but there is a format issue that doesn’t work well within my bookcase. So from time to time we do one of these multi book posts to clean up one of the shelves in the bookcase……and share some of these books to the world.  So here we go…..

Baseball’s No -Hit Wonders-More than a Century of Pitching’s Greatest Feats

By Dirk Lammars-2016

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Is it me, or do no hitters seem to happen more often today then they did say thirty of forty years ago?  Has the level of play in the league diminished that much that these have become commonplace?  Lammers takes the readers through the interesting history of the no hitter and how it has played out through the history of the game. He shows the pitchers and hitters involved, no hitters that were broken up after 26 outs and all the other odd and wacky things that happened in the past to those pitchers, both lucky and good enough to even flirt with a no-no.  If your interested in the who, what, when, where and why of no-hitters you will really enjoy what this book will bring to your table.  You can get this book from the nice folks at Unbridled Books

 

The 50 Greatest Players in Pittsburgh Pirates History

By David Finoli-2016

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These types of books are always fun.  For the one and only reason that no two people will ever agree 100 percent as to who belongs at what spot on the list. I really don’t know what the criteria is by the authors to make it on to these types of lists, but they never seem to disappoint the reader.  They always include the Hall of Famers, team superstars as well as the hometown heroes. You would also have to think they target their specified teams fan base so they are always eager to please the homers.  I had done this type of book by another author on the Pittsburgh Pirates last year and I went back to pull it out to compare.  What I found is that more then half of the players they can agree on being in the book,, but differ on where they rank.  So bottom line is if you read one of these books about your team and find another one, check it out because it may give you a different spin on the players that may be more in line with your personal rankings as well.  You can get this book from the nice folks at Rowman & Littlefield

 

The BUCS!-The Story of the Pittsburgh Pirates

By John McCollister-2016

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Lets stay in Pittsburgh  for a second on this book.  The BUCS! takes a very brief look at the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  From its 19th century beginnings to its current day under field manager Clint Hurdle, this book takes an abbreviated, but fast paced look at the history in Pittsburgh.  If the Pirates are not your team and never have been in the past, this book is a great way to get a good albeit brief history from Kiner and Roberto to Bonds and McCutchen.  Its only roughly 200 pages, so even if you are familiar with Bucs history it would be a quick and easy refresher course.  You can get this book from the nice folks at Lyons Press.

The Legends of the Philadelphia Phillies

By Bob Gordon-2016

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What would one of these posts be without a Phillies book?  This book, first released by Bob Gordon in 2005, compiles some of the greatest names in Phillies history and gives strong bios on each of those lucky enough to be a Phillie. It gives a great look at team history from an author that has some great ties to the team itself, through several other books he has written.  So why do you need to buy the reprint of a book released ten years ago?  It has been updated for deaths of the older players and it also has added a few Phillies superstars that became prominent in the last half of the last decade when the Phillies were on top of the world.  You can get this book from the nice folks at Sports Publishing.

 

The Grind-Inside Baseball’s Endless Season

By Barry Svrluga-2015

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Without question, Baseball has the most grueling schedule of all the professional leagues.  Almost stretching to nine months of the year when you factor in pre and post season, it would take some sort of toll on even the strongest of personalities.  Svrluga has taken a look at this relentless schedule and the effect it has on the personal lives of those involved and how it effects almost everyone involved with a team.  It looks at varying position players , the 26th man on most rosters, travelling secretaries, spouses, kids and clubhouse attendants.  It really is an interesting look behind the scenes of the game and what those involved are willing to sacrifice to be a part of the great game of baseball. You van get this book from the nice folks at Blue Rider Press

 

Diamond Madness-Classic Episodes of Rowdyism, Racism and Violence in Major League Baseball

By William A. Cook-2013

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William Cook’s Diamond Madness gives the reader a good look at the scary side of baseball.  When you get beyond all of the normal hero worship that comes as part of the normal territory with the game and when those things get really scary.  Fan obsessions, death threats, violence, racism, shootings and robberies are all just a part of what is shown to the readers of this book.  It is amazing how even though these are normal stories in the everyday world, they are so many times magnified just by playing baseball.  It also goes to show how much work the people behind the scenes in baseball put in to making sure nothing tarnishes the wholesomeness of the American Past-time.  I think if you check this out it will show some new perspectives to the average fan of what really goes on.  You can get this book from the nice folks at Sunbury Press.

 

Tales From the Atlanta Braves Dugout

By Cory McCartney-2016

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I will admit it………..I love this series!   You can get whatever team you wish at this point because it seems like almost every team is available now.  You can also use it as a history lesson to brush up on all the funny stories of a team that you are not very familiar with and get a good feel for what that teams history is all about.  If you grab the book of your favorite team it is a chance to regale in all the stories you have heard time and time again and like a favorite uncle at a holiday dinner, are glad to listen to over and over.  You can get this book from the nice folks at Sports Publishing.

 

 

I See the Crowd Roar-The Story of William “Dummy” Hoy

By Joseph Rotheli & Agnes Gaertner-2014

This book is intended for a younger audience but it does provide a very deep lesson for all fans.  William Hoy was hearing impaired and never heard a single fan cheer for him.  The book shows how Hoy overcame his disability and made the best if it as well as keeping up a positive attitude during the course of events.  The book also shows the positive impact had on the function of the game and how things like hand signals that were originally implemented for Hoy alone, have become mainstays of the game generations later.  It truly is an inspiring story that younger fans should be made aware of so they have a complete baseball education.  There is also a movie version of the book in the pipeline as well.  You can get this book from the nice folks at the lil-red-foundation.

 

Black Baseball, Black Business-Race Enterprise and the Fate of the Segregated Dollar

By Roberta Newman & Joel Nathan Rosen-2014

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In baseball nothing is ever as simple as it seems.  This book takes a look at how the integration of baseball, while a great thing on the civil rights front, created waves that destroyed black economies in the larger cities that were homes to Negro League Teams.  It is a really interesting look at the economies of the integration of baseball on those parties that were not in any way involved in the decision making process or the game of baseball itself.  It also shows how the innocents involved were essentially destroyed by the baseball powers that were at the time pushing it as a cause for greater good.

Happy Reading

Gregg

Toy Cannon – The Autobiography of Baseball’s Jimmy Wynn


There are teams out there that have through their history had iconic players.  When you think of the Yankees, Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle always pop to mind.  For the Red Sox, Ted Williams is the man.  What if you are a team that does not have a century long history in the game and has had limited success on the field.  The Tampa Rays come to mind with having no one that has been a stand out player and really have had limited success.  The Astros and the Mets both entered the league together and have taken different paths.  The journey of the  Mets has generated a bunch of post-season births, coupled with a few World Series championships and a roster of iconic players.  The Astros on the other hand have had limited success and a handful of post season appearances. With their past performance it is surprising how many great players the Houston Astros have had during their time in the league.  One name that immediately pops to mind is the iconic Jimmy Wynn.  Essentially being there from the beginning when they were still the Colt 45’s, Wynn’s performance on the field and his down to earth nature easily made him a force to be reckoned with on the field and a fan favorite off of it. While today’s book is not a new release, I wanted to share it because it really is an enjoyable tale.

 

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By: Jimmy Wynn-2010

In today’s terms Jimmy Wynn was a stud.  Being the player on the top of the Houston power heap, Wynn was able to give the Astros someone to build a team around during their formative years in the league.  Unfortunately for both parties they were never able to reach the ultimate goal of a visit to the World Series during their time together.

This is not like reading a regular book, it is more like sitting on the porch with your friend and listening to his stories.  Wynn walks the reader through his childhood in Cincinnati and his dreams of one day being a big league baseball player.  You get a nice look at the Wynn family values and how those ideals helped produce a fine person in Jimmy Wynn.  Next you see the minor league struggles that brought Wynn from the hometown Reds farm system to the fields of Houston.

A good portion of this book is rightly so about his time with the Astros.  He his most widely known for his accomplishments on the field there and where he spent the biggest bulk of his career, so it is only natural it takes up so much space in the book.  Jimmy tells the reader about events both on and off the field that have helped him both learn and grow as a person, as well as the mistakes he has made along the way that effected his life. Finally the book takes us through stops with the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees and Brewers.  It is a career well traveled and a lot of accomplishments that any player would be proud of.

The most surprising thing is that Jimmy Wynn admits his flaws and his mistakes he has made over the years.  Most baseball players would not take the time to admit these things at all, let alone do it in their autobiography.  It really shows the depth of character he has and what a genuine person he really is.

The book is a great read for all baseball fans.  It shows the real side of a baseball star and how they are human just like the rest of us and have their own faults.  It also shows how a player of this caliber can admit his faults and shows there is no shame in asking forgiveness from those you have wronged.  Check it out, I don’t think you will be disappointed..

You can get this book from the nice folks at McFarland

Toy Cannon-Jimmy Wynn

Happy Reading

Gregg

A Life Full of Changes and One Final Hurrah!


Every once in a while I wander out of my library on the blog and become just an everyday baseball fan.  Content with enjoying the baseball world around me and taking in the sites, sounds and smells of the game I love.  Tonight is one of those times there are no books involved with the post but still about the game I love.

Life is ever evolving and changing.  Nothing stays the same for long and part of life is adapting those changes.  Some changes are better than others, but this is easily one of the better ones that comes along.  My wife and I are expecting our first little future big leaguer or ball girl in August, and yes he or she will be rooting for the Phillies………no exceptions to that rule!

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We are very excited about this new chapter of our lives, honestly a little nervous and sometimes overwhelmed at the thought of it all.  But on the bright side, people have been doing these for a long time, so how bad can we screw it up?  We both decided we wanted to take a final vacation before our little Phanatic arrives and thought of all the usual spots, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, but nothing was saying this is truly the last real vacation you will have for the next decade or two…………but then it hit us.

We could pull off the ultimate baseball vacation.  Eight days, six MLB stadiums and one Minor League morning game, mostly because I want to say I went to a baseball game and ate an egg mcmuffin while watching it.  We have an itinerary that is a little aggressive but I think we can pull this off, as long as the woman next to me who will be six months pregnant at the time keeps a sense of humor about this trip.

The plan is as follows:

Sat 5/21-Braves @ Phillies (Citizens Bank Park)

Sun 5/22-Rockies @ Pirates (PNC Field)

Mon 5/23-Indians @ White Sox (U.S. Cellular Field)

Tue 5/24-Off Day-Every team needs at least one

Wed 5/25-Phillies @ Tigers (Comerica Park)

Thur 5/26-Toledo Mud Hens-10:30 a.m. game (If you are going to a minor league game it just should be the Mud Hens.  Maybe Klinger will be there)

Fri 5/27-Phillies @ Cubs (Wrigley Field)

Sat 5/28-Orioles @ Indians (Progressive Field)

This is as of right now our trip, hopefully it will be fun and memorable.  Of course three Phillies games in one week was not by accident either. It is a lot of driving between cities, but nothing too over bearing I think.  Now if anyone who is reading this has stuck with me this far, I thank you for hanging in here, but I need your help.

If anyone out there has any ideas of something we shouldn’t miss in these cities on this trip, drop me a line.  If anyone has any ideas or lives in any of these towns and wants to meet the book blogging guy, let me know maybe we can meet up somewhere.  If anyone knows anyone who works for any of these teams that we are visiting and help us add to this experience and wants to reach out to them for us it would also  be appreciated.

I am going to do a daily blog on this trip to give everyone an update on each of the stadiums we are visiting.  Perhaps by doing this we can inspire some other fans to take the same journey.  Hey, if I can do this with a pregnant woman, you don’t have much of an excuse now do you.  This is our farewell journey in this part of our lives, so before we open the door to the next chapter we figured one last hurrah was in order.

If anyone has any ideas please don’t hesitate to drop me a line and thanks for the help folks.  Baseball is what brings us all together and hopefully makes our own worlds a little brighter.

Happy Reading……….or travelling

Gregg