I thought in the spirit of Independence day we could take a look at how baseball books can play into that. Now this is not a post about the patriotic side of baseball and how it coincides with America, but how it allows one to be independent, no matter what interests them within the sport. There are tons of options out there that allow the reader to follow any avenue they choose, some are related and others are not but they still have that common theme of baseball. So what is out there for us readers?
Biographies are a fun way for readers to learn all about their favorite players. Whether it is first hand by the player himself or a true biography, you get great stories and once in a while some new information is discovered in the author’s research. You most times come away with a more favorable impression of the player, but there are instances that you think what a jerk he was. So it sometimes is better to stay away from your favorite player if you are not prepared for a bad impression. McFarland publishes biographies of some of the most obscure players and often overlooked subjects. The authors they work with are often SABR members and often provide an excellent finished product like the Evers biography shown above. McFarland books are most times and enjoyable history lesson for the reader.
Are you more dedicated to an entire team as opposed to an individual player? Well then these types of books may be for you. Yankee Stadium Memories compiles the thoughts of 26 of the best writing professionals who spent time working in old Yankee Stadium. What this book gives you is an inside look into the building and what went on behind the scenes that the average fan would not see. To some degree I think all writers have some sort of underlying fan allegiance to their team. So this book gives those people the chance to express those sentiments without taking a hit to their professional credibility. Sports Publishing creates this book that allows the fan to get the feel of being there, even if you never were. It re-creates events that many of the readers never witnessed and will never happen again. These book are a great deal of fun for team devotees and casual fans as well.
Maybe, you are more of a quirky superstitious number person or something of the sort. Do you wonder why every player on your team that ever had the number 8, never became anything. Or do you lay awake at night trying to remember every player on your team that ever wore number 34? Well Sports Publishing again has this series that looks at the each teams roster in this series from 0-99. It shows the fun stories and highlights surrounding these individual numbers. It also shows how some numbers may be cursed and no matter what that number should be retired. It’s another fun look at team history that all fans should enjoy.
Are you more of a history buff, but don’t want the stiff side of baseball. This book gives you brief history lesson of the game while keeping it entertaining. It gives some great player bio’s along with keeping the facts fun and interesting. I never have come across a book in my life that is a history book but still fun. It asks questions about how certain things have happened in baseballs past along with what might have been if certain aspects changed. It really makes the reader think and Acta Sports did a nice job with this one that fans will enjoy.
Are you more of a minor league fan? This one would be for you. It shows what life was like in the minor leagues in the 1950’s in the Southwest. Major league baseball had not quite made it past St. Louis yet so minor league baseball had a stronghold on these small towns. The author paints a very vivid picture of a bygone era, that should never be forgotten. These small towns and teams are what modern baseball is built upon. It is always important to remember where you came from.
Are you more of a casual fan that only pays attention when your team makes it to the World Series. Clerisy Press has the book just for you then. The Comeback Kids gives fans a chance to re-live the magical 2010 season where they defied the odds and made the post season. None of the so-called experts gave the Reds a fighting chance for any success that year. But sticking to their guns they pulled off the impossible. Clerisy Press always does a nice job on the Cincinnati Reds. They are locally vested in the Cincinnati community and their pride in these books shine through. Reds fans should make sure they check out their catalog beyond just this book on the Reds, because they are truly something to behold.
Baseball is full of quirky little tricks and gimmicks. The Hidden Ball Trick takes a look at the history of this dying art form. It has been successful a few hundred times in the history of the game, but more often it’s not. It truly is an art-form to get this trick to work in today’s modern game, but it is a fun look at how it can be conducted. Rowman & Littlefield made a fun book with this one and fans should check it out
They always say records were made to be broken, but is that really true. Certain records probably won’t be broken after all because of the changing nature of the game. James Baehler and Sports Publishing take a look at those records and see whether or not the possibility is there for them to be broken. I agree with some and not others ones, but it is a good book to fuel some debates with your buddies.
Finally, you always hear about the little things that help make great teams. Chemistry and other unspoken dynamics that help pull 25 players together to make a winner. Intangiball looks at all these dynamics together and explores how they work together to help make teams better over the course of a season. It really makes you think about what has to come together to create a winning team on the field.
So as you can see there are lots of choices for readers under the baseball umbrella. Each one is really an independent avenue for which the reader can explore fun facts and theories. I always say knowledge is power and having all these different types of books that fall under the subject of baseball helps promote reading among the fans. Everyone should take some times to explore some of the above sites because you will find tons of other great baseball books available by the same publishers.
I have reviewed several books from Clerisy Press here on the Bookcase in the past. Every book we looked at was tied to the Cincinnati Reds, and there long and glorious history. They have done a great job with the Reds series and always allow fans to get detailed and complete stories. Now I have some other offerings from the same publisher that helps fans make sure they can enjoy the baseball season every single day of the year.
John Snyder and Clerisy Press have created this oddball series of books that are a lot of fun for fans of each individual baseball team. Birthdays, stadium milestones, historical team events, team personnel as well as any other thing to mark a historical occasion or event in your teams history are captured here.
Each book has been broken down to into date format so you can see what happened on any particular date. So readers can read it in various ways. You can sit down and read the book at one shot or you can read a page a day and spread the fun out through the entire year. Readers can even pick certain days they want to check out, like your birthday, wife’s birthday, anniversary, dog’s birthday, tax day, the possibilities are endless to make the book fun for the readers. It allows the fan to make sure every day even during the off-season, has a little baseball in it.
I also think books like this are a great learning tools for new fans. They allow you to get team history in a fun and interesting way. They are a basic history lesson of the team in small bites, so you are actually learning something without realizing it. When did the Cardinals set a major league record for using the most pitchers in a shutout? How are the Dodgers involved in the only foul ball fatality? How many managers did the Red Sox have in 1907? When was the longest game at Wrigley Field…..and no it was not 1979? These are the fun things you will get in each of these books, and John Snyder has hit a home run with research and attention to detail which allows him to bring forth to the fans informative, enjoyable and fun books.
You can get all of these books from the nice folks at Clerisy Press
Certain places around Major League Baseball have been around since the birth of the league. Due to that fact, the history of those particular cities is deep. Thousands of people have been a part of the ran and file of that team, and helped create some amazing memories for their fans. The Cincinnati Reds have pretty much been around since day one, and contributed some defining moments to the game of baseball. Today’s book takes a look at some of those incredible moments in Reds team history.
When you have been in existence since 1869, where do you even start to define your greatest moments? Just by the sheer number of years you have been around you have more possible moments than everybody else. When you think about it the Cincinnati Reds have been around since almost the end of the Civil War. They are approaching 150 years in the league and are still on a daily basis making memories.
Greg Rhodes has compiled a book that was a monumental undertaking in my opinion. There are so many great moments over that near century and a half, that it has to be hard to narrow it down to just one book. The author breaks the book down into twenty year chapters. The initial chapter of the book covers the early years, 1866-1879 and then works in twenty year increments after that. Every section covers the who, what, when and why questions that have arisen in Reds history. It reviews the personalities that have graced the Reds, as well as major achievements on the field on both an individual and team level. It gives a good perspective of what the Reds have accomplished throughout their history.
If you are not Cincinnati Reds fan, or from that area, this book gives a good look at team history and player accomplishments. Many team books out on the market focus on one genre, and let some events or people fall through the cracks. This books make sure that the people and events that helped shape the team are not forgotten. You see names like Bucky Walters, Hugh Kritz and Clyde Shoun. While not Hall of Famers outside of Cincinnati, they have made big contributions to the team’s legacy. This book gives them their due and makes sure they don’t get lost in the passage of time.
I think books like these are important to fans. They are a nicely presented history lesson for the reader, and it makes sure that the people who contributed to the teams history are never forgotten. For other fans it may prove the Reds actually did exist before the birth of the Big Red Machine.
All fans that enjoy reading about history should read this book. It is very thorough in its team history from the beginning of the team, to its published date of 2007. It is presented so well, you won’t even realize you are learning something.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Clerisy Press
Being New Years Day, one tends to look back at the past. Sometimes it is the past year one reflects on, and for others you may want to reflect back on something over 50 years ago. In baseball history we have many seasons we get the chance to reflect on and honestly, I think that there are so many it makes it hard to choose. Todays book takes a look at one of those spectacular seasons for a team that is almost forgotten due to the success of their team in subsequent years.
Before the Machine-The Story of the 1961 Pennant-Winning Cincinnati Reds
By:Mark Schmetzer – 2011 Clerisy Press
The 1961 Reds on paper looked to be nothing spectacular. A mix of aging veterans and young up and comers were not expected to make any real noise on the field. Playing in an antiquated ball park and dealing with the death of their owner just days before the start of the season, things were not looking great for the team. But little did the fans of Cincinnati and the world of baseball know, this was going to be their year.
Mark Schmetzer takes readers on a journey through that great 1961 season. You see it from beginning to end, starting with the off-season and spring training, you see the pieces assembled that made up this team. Players that were brought in to fill holes became vital pieces in the success on the field. The book also takes you through each month of the season, showing the highs and lows of a grueling seven month season. Player injuries, slumps, and hot streaks are all contained in the book. It gives you a great look at team struggles and chemistry, that add up to make a successful team. There are tons of never before seen pictures in this book that add to the feeling that you are witnessing this team at a level higher than just a book. You also get to re-live the disappointment of the 1961 World Series at the hands of the New York Yankees. While it may not be a great event that their fans want to re-live, it gives a very comprehensive account of events on the field.
I often have felt this team gets overlooked in the annals of history. Primarily because of the multi-year success of the Cincinnati Reds Big Red Machine. When people think of the Reds success they automatically gravitate towards the teams of the Big Red Machine. Perhaps because it was their first year of success in such a long period of time, but it does seem that sometimes they just are plain old forgotten. The author has done a great job of making sure this team never gets forgotten.
All fans should enjoy this book. It does a nice job of covering the history of the team and that magical season in Cincinnati. Also, books like this are important because they make sure certain teams and pieces of history, do not fall through the cracks of time. It makes sure these teams are remembered for all future generations of fans to appreciate and enjoy.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Clerisy Press
Baseball history is all about the people, places and things. People make the history, the places add to the charm of the moment and the things, well………things happen! As fans, sometime we get the feeling we were born too late. We can find an era of baseball that really appeals to our inner fan. For some lucky fans their moment is in the present and for others it can be 100 years before they were born. Today’s book gives those fans the opportunity to live in those moments that they missed.
Cincinnati’s Crosley Field – The Illustrated History of a Classic Ballpark
By:Greg Rhodes & John Erardi-2009 Clerisy Press
When you are a fan of a particular team, the stadium almost becomes part of the game. From their unique dimensions, the sights, sounds and smells contained within to the time spent bonding with the stadium it almost becomes an old friend. These parks both new and old, have personalities all their own.
Authors Rhodes and Erardi have taken us back in time to visit with an old friend. Crosley Field was the home of the Cincinnati Reds for over 50 years. It was the site of some great moments in Reds baseball and of baseball history in general. They have created more than just a picture book of Crosley field. They have actually captured the personality and written the detailed story of a member of the Cincinnati family.
You not only get all the nuances that made Crosley Field a great place to go see a baseball game, you get so much more. You get stories about the fans that visited, the growth of the game and how it pertained to the stadium and how Crosley fit into the growing populace of the city. The character of the stadium and physical changes within are captured in this book as well. This is really a comprehensive history that brings the old girl back to life.
If you are a fan that has lost your old stadium due to the influx of new baseball palaces over the last 20 years, you should appreciate this book. The Reds may bot be your hometown team but we can all relate to losing the place we called home. I know as a Phillies fan, Veterans Stadium was my home away from home growing up. Quite honestly, it was a giant crap-hole……but it was our crap-hole. It has been reduced to rubble and is now a parking lot for the glorious new Citizens Bank Park. But when I think of some of my favorite memories with my Dad growing up, that old crap-hole comes back to life and will forever be a part of my life. This book has the same effect. If you were ever at a game there it will bring back great memories. If you were never there than this will paint a great picture of what the place was all about. Sometimes you can go home again……even if home is no longer there.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Clericy Press
There is always good feelings in a community when a local kid does something good. Perhaps it is the community living vicariously through the over achievers. Maybe it is a matter of civic pride shining through in an overly negative world. Todays book dedicates itself to celebrating the local kids that accomplished their dreams, no matter how short-lived their celebrity status was.
The Local Boys-Hometown Players for the Cincinnati Reds
By: Joe & Jack Heffron-2014 Clerisy Press
As I have said numerous times before, I am a Phillies fan. Therefore I was not overly familiar with Reds player history. I found from the start, amazing how many hometown players the Reds have had in their history. In that sense you could consider the Reds lucky that they did not have to look much past their own back yard to find major league talent. In our new age of combing the globe looking for qualified talent this shows how things were different, not very long ago.
The Local Boys is very consistent in the time it dedicates to each of the player profiles. If you are a one day cup-of-coffee type of player or the all-time hit king……you get two pages in the book. Within those two pages the authors do a great job of giving you the full story on each player. You get the full details on their lives and careers. When they did a profile on a deceased player, they went the extra step and found family members to talk to for an accurate portrayal. The details really bring some of these players whom have passed on, back to life for the reader. In this instance some of those older players may be coming to life for the first time for some readers.
This book feels more like a celebration of the locals who made good, instead of a group of biographies. The Heffron boys display their own affection for the Reds and their storied history through this book. I think a book like this opens the doors for other authors to the same type of books. It would be a great service to each team to have a book like this, and be able to celebrate their own local history.
The authors should be proud of this book and their contribution to documenting Reds history. Sometimes in our fast paced world we forget where we came from and our history gets lost in the shuffle. Reds fans will truly enjoy this as well as other regional fans. You might even be surprised to see who was from Cincinnati.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Clerisy Press