Tagged: Baseball

Babe’s Place-The Lives of Yankee Stadium


I am not a Yankee fan in any sense of the word, but I will acknowledge their achievements throughout history and the contributions they have made to both the game and its storied history.  The original Yankee Stadium was witness to many of the games greatest players and scores of historical moments.  With its closing a few years back, baseball lost one of its historical palaces, but I have found a book that chronicles its entire history and gives the stadium the true respect that it was due.

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By:Michael Wagner-2015

There have been a few books in the past that have made me go wow, but this one beats them all.  Author Michael Wagner starts from the stadium’s original construction and provides all sorts of details about building a stadium in the 20’s.  It covers stories about building delays, internal political struggles, how many bricks that were used and monetary costs to build the palace.  I am using that brick number to dazzle my friends when we start asking each other obscure baseball trivia.  It obviously does cover the great moments that happened there during its original incarnation and gives the reader a good feel of what the stadium was like during that early era of baseball.

Next the book takes another in-depth look at the remodeling of the stadium in the mid 1970’s.  The deconstruction and remodeling details are plentiful in this book and gives an inside look at what really went on behind the scenes during this remodeling phase.  Many of these things you will find hard to believe when you hear the  lengths they went to preserving its original heritage.  This portion of the book also covers the great moments that happened at Yankee Stadium during this second phase of its life.  This is the phase many of us are most familiar with so it was nice to relive some of those memories.

This book provides an enormous array of pictures.  From the original building of the stadium to its remodeling.  Many are from the authors private collection, and they are a unique insight to the process and how large of an undertaking it was to remodel this stadium.

Finally, one aspect I found interesting was the personal correspondence of the author attempting to get memories from those who played there.  He had success to varying degrees, but it was a fun way to see what players thought about the old girl during her prime.

It doesn’t matter if you are a New York Yankee fan or not this is a book worth checking out.  The original Yankee Stadium has given way to progress, but I personally think it should have remained and been revered in such ways that Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are today.  Old Yankee Stadium had a large historical value and this book has done a wonderful job on preserving some of the details and memories for generations to come.

You can contact Author Michael Wagner directly via email for information on how to order this great book for all baseball fans.

yankeeswinws@yahoo.com

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

The Baseball Thesaurus


When you have an interest in baseball books as a fan, it can lead you down some really neat avenues.  Player biographies, team histories, season recaps and countless other topics are available for the knowledgeable fan.  If you are just starting out there are also learning tools available to you as a fan, that will teach you the specific language and terminology of the game, so that you understand what other people are talking about.  Every fan has to start somewhere on their learning journey and today’s book is a great tool to help kick start that quest for general baseball knowledge.

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By:Jesse Goldberg-Strassler 2014

The Baseball Thesaurus takes the reader through an alphabetical journey of the sports terminology.  It breaks down all the major terms used in a baseball game and gives a few varying explanations of what the term means.  It also gives the reader other terms that are commonly accepted for the same thing or event.  All in all, this book covers a lot of ground and would really aid in bringing a novice fan up to speed on all of the baseball lingo.

Books like this are very important to baseball because they help foster each new generation into loving the game.  With the knowledge they get from this book it opens the door to reading further into the game.  It may lead them into reading the other types of books mentioned above and helps the history of the game carry on through time.

If you know of a novice baseball fan, you may want to introduce them to this book.  It will aid in their learning of the game and also shorten their learning curve.  For fans who are well versed in the game this probably will not help you much unless you want to know thirteen alternative names for a weekly hit ground ball.  In the end we as fans are all to some degree are keepers of baseball and as such, are tasked with the job of documenting, maintaining and passing on its history to future generations.

You can get this book from the nice folks at August Publications

The Baseball Thesaurus

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

Sometimes the Best Made Plans get Screwed Up!!!!


If you are looking for a book review tonight unfortunately you have come to the wrong place.  Being the name sake of this blog provides me the opportunity to have a public venting session when needed.  So please if you all will, amuse me tonight and let me complain so that by tomorrow I will be in a better frame of mind and will return to what I normally do around here…….baseball books and all that go with it.

For those of you who haven’t heard, my wife and I are expecting our first child in August. To celebrate the event we were going to take an epic trip in May and visit six MLB stadiums in eight days along with one Minor League stop in there as well.  Here is the link to the original story if you missed it.  We had some good responses and ideas from a few of my readers to some things we should not miss at the places we were going.  We also had some preliminary contact with a couple of the teams we were going to visit so it was looking like it was all going to come together nicely and be a fun trip.  Until today, when my little black cloud, that seems to follow me almost everywhere, showed its ugly face once again and rained all over our trip.  You may ask, what has happened that would be so crappy to ruin our epic trip……..here let me show you…………….

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That is a wonderful x-ray of my spine.  The same spine that now requires surgery and some sort of implant to fix and has essentially screwed us out of our trip.  I will be out of commission for at least a month and that falls right during the month of May.  So instead of following the Phillies from city to city, and eating an Egg Mcmuffin in Toledo at a baseball game, I will be sitting at home on the couch with my head buried in another baseball book.

My wife has brought up the proposition of doing this trip next summer with our new little bundle of joy in tow, but I haven’t 100% signed off that idea yet.  I do think having the new addition along would be a great bonus to the trip, I am just not sure how easy that much travel would be with someone that little.

I would like to think there is some sort of reason this has happened now and that we are better off staying home.  But more than likely, it is just my black cloud following me again.  So all the above being said if anyone has some ideas for books I should check out during my several week recuperation let me know.  I have a few weeks until my surgery date, but will still have several weeks at home to read.

So that’s the plan, we will make that my silver lining in all of this and hopefully get some new recommendations from my readers.  I have lots of faith in the folks I talk to in baseball book land and have already read a few of your ideas.  So I look forward to and also appreciate any ideas you all have.

Thanks for reading my rant, I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to listen to me whine and complain……………now back to your regular scheduled book reviews.

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

The Global Baseball Classroom-Reflections Beyond Home


It is amazing the skills baseball has beyond the diamond.  It has the ability to transcend generations, bring families and friends together in any given space or time and it has the ability to bring different cultures together.  By coming together they speak their one common language……Baseball.

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By:Brent Loehr-2015

Brent Loehr has written a pretty unique book here.  It takes a look at his travels to countries all around the world spreading international good will.  That good will is wrapped in a neat little package called baseball.  It is a fun look at citizens in places as far away as Africa, who live an entirely different lifestyle than we are accustom to and how they react to baseball coming into their lives.

It shows the power that can be generated from something as simple as a baseball.  It allows different cultures to come together and for short times be one.  It allows for all difference to be put aside and partake in something that creates immense joy and passion for those involved.  This book is not what you would expect from a baseball book.  It takes the game of baseball out of the context we are all accustomed to and shows what it is truly capable in other parts of the world.

All fans should check this one out.  It definitely takes us out of the world we are all accustomed to and shows the readers the ability of baseball to bring the world together as one.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Summer Game Books

The Global Baseball Classroom

Happy Reading

Gregg

We have been Trevorized!!!!


Sometimes I come across a book that has some sort of underlying theme that includes baseball, but wouldn’t really be considered a baseball book.  We have seen that baseball has great talent in bringing all sorts of people together, regardless of race, sex, creed, religion or disabilities.  It is one of the things that makes the game so great.  Baseball has introduced to the world a remarkable young man who through his family’s love and support has not let his disability stand in the way of being the best person he can be.

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By: Robert & Trevor Hendershot-2015

This is not even close to the standard baseball book that we are all used to.  So please keep that in mind as you read forward.  Trevor is a young man who lives in California and has Down-Syndrome.  He also works as a greeter for both the Anaheim (or whatever city they are from these days) Angels and Anaheim Ducks in the NHL.  From both my internet research and by reading the book,  Trevor has become somewhat of a local celebrity in California.  His engaging personality and loving life attitude have made him a local favorite among fans in the area.

Trevorized! is really a story about a father’s struggles with his own demons and learning to become the kind of father who has a son with special needs requires.  It is a journey of father and son who learn how to function together.  It also shows how they have leaned on their faith through good times and bad as a family unit.  Now the book overall falls more towards the religious side than the sports side, so keep that in mind if you are thinking about this book for yourself.

Overall this is really an remarkable story.  Trevor has excelled at his job with both employers and become a vital member of his teams.  The Hendershot’s are trying to work with the sports teams as well as Major League Baseball to employ more great folks like Trevor with special needs.  It is a great initiative and hopefully the teams and leagues stand along with Trevor and his family and make it a reality.

This is really a unique and touching story about a family coping and in the end a great outcome for all involved.  As I said above, the baseball angle is not a strong topic within the story, but Trevor’s journey is so interesting that is still warrants a look from baseball fans.

You can get this book direct from Trevor and Robert

TREVORIZED!

I don’t think by any measure that this is the last time we will be hearing from Trevor Hendershot.

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

 

Crack of the Bat – A History of Baseball on the Radio


There are so many available mediums available for the average baseball fan that it is almost mind-blowing at times.  Television, Radio, Internet, Cable TV, Social Media, Fantasy Leagues and even Blogs have all taken their place in our society to bring the fan every facet of the game we love.  It is hard to believe how these things have impacted the way we look at the game, and amazingly all this has evolved over the last century.  It is also hard to comprehend that at one point baseballs only consistent outlet was through radio, and it was a hard sell at that.  Today’s book takes a look at the evolution of baseball first medium, Radio.

By:James R. Walker-2015

By:James R. Walker-2015

James R. Walker has written a book that takes the reader through the birth of radio in baseball.  It chronicles the struggles that baseball had to overcome to become part of the American fabric.  From scheduling conflicts to sponsorship rights and legalities between both the government and the teams, it is all covered in here so you get the full picture of the birth of baseball on the airwaves.

The author walks you through baseball selling the rights to World Series games and how it eventually evolved into regular season games becoming the norm on the radio.  This book also gives some very interesting facts about how the radio business operated at the time and how it effected the growth of baseball on the radio.  It really was a convoluted system that impeded progress, but in the end the strength of baseball won out.

Finally the book takes you through the unprecedented growth of the game and its parallel growth on the radio.  It also shows how radio lent itself to countless generations becoming familiar with the game.  I found interesting that it shows the decline of radio once it was challenged by other mediums such as television and how it changed radio broadcasts.  Some people feel that radio is the truest medium in which to follow a game, which I think to some degree is true.  It forces you to imagine from the announcers story as to what is going on out on the diamond.

This book takes the reader back to a simpler time in society and shows the reader that even though baseball may not have realized it at the time, they were big business.  There were some serious arguments over the baseball rights and substantial money was being paid to own those rights.  Baseball fans will enjoy this book and the progression baseball follows in getting into american homes.

You can get this book from the nice folks at The University of Nebraska Press

https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Crack-of-the-Bat,676325.aspx

Happy Reading

Gregg