I have said before history is a an important part of the game of baseball. No matter what level of baseball that you are a fan of, you need to know the facts. With the surge in the popularity of Minor League Baseball you get to see the future of the game. While witnessing that future you should also remember those that never made it past that level to become the future. Minor league history has not always gotten the coverage it has deserved but now there is a new book that allows you to get a look at one of the leagues on a day by day basis.
The Texas League Baseball Almanac
By:David King & Tom Kayser – 2014 The History Press
The Texas League Baseball Almanac is a neat little tool for fans of the league. It gives you a year-long day by day breakdown of the exciting moments that happened in the league. Memorable games, record-breaking events on the field and player triumphs have all been recorded. It allows you to take a walk through the years of the league and see the great moments that have happened. For many fans it would be a great history lesson and allow them to connect with some of those players they may not of ever heard of before. Where else will you be able to find out when Jo-Jo Jackson was ejected from the game before the line-ups were even exchanged?
These books are important because it gives some history in print to a forgotten era. There was a time when the local minor league was the only game in town. Before MLB expansion west of St.Louis, some of these leagues were more popular than the Majors. Unfortunately, records have not always been kept as meticulously as they could have been so this book helps fill in some of the holes that may have been missed. The Negro Leagues had the same record keeping problems and most of those records are gone forever, so its nice to have a book like this to cement some of the information. Fans of the league will enjoy this book because it’s a nice look at some of the events that might not have necessarily brought headlines. It’s easy for everyone to remember the big things that happen, but its the little things that happen on a daily basis and the people involved, that tell the whole story.
You can get this book from the nice folks at The History Press
There was a point in time in the United States, that you could throw a stone and hit some sort of baseball team. Prior to the late 1950’s Major League Baseball was fairly regional, with no team calling anywhere west of St. Louis home. That led to the opportunity for small towns and larger forgotten towns to have their own brand of baseball outside of the Big Leagues. Unfortunately relocation of existing teams westward generated by the Dodgers move to Los Angeles, and the ensuing expansion in both leagues killed some of the small time baseball in those towns. Lucky for all of us, at least one of those towns history before big time baseball arrived has been preserved in print.
Houston Baseball-The Early Years 1861-1961
By:Mike Vance/SABR-2014 Bright Sky Press
Prior to 1962 Houston never had a Major League team. The Colt 45’s were the first time Houston got invited to dance with the big boys. For the century prior to 1962, Houston was not forgotten by the baseball gods. They had the opportunity to see their fair share of talent pass through town and entertain the locals. From amateur ball, to the negro leagues and even minor league baseball, Houston was a big time player in the history of the game.
Editor Mike Vance and the Larry Dierker chapter of SABR have created a very informative and entertaining book. It takes an in-depth look at what transpired in Houston during the 100 years prior to the arrival of the Houston Colt 45’s. It covers everything from the very early years of organized baseball in the city to the transition to major league baseball.
The contributors to the book have made sure that every facet of Houston baseball gets covered. Ballparks through the years are covered in the book. Seeing drawings of the makeshift fields to formal stadiums you see how the game grew and progressed in the city. They also show some of the Major Leaguers that made stops in the early careers in Houston on their way to stardom. Each of the various minor league teams that called Houston home are also remembered in this book. Owners, semi pro leagues as well as the Negro Leagues in the Houston area are not forgotten either.
The research in this book has been painstakingly done and it shows. They went above and beyond in creating a really comprehensive book that showcases Houston’s history within the game. Students of the history of the game really should take a look at this book, because almost everyone is guaranteed to learn something from it.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Bright Sky Press