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.
Numbers are an important part of baseball history. They tell us everything that has happened through the years, while also giving a basis on which to judge performance. In the last two or three decades the ways in which players are measured have changed and it has ushered in monumental changes within the game. But what if you use these current day formulas to see what the prior generations may have missed, what would change and who’s legacy would be changed forever? Well today’s book takes a look at how these calculations would have changed the history of the game.
I don’t often do this, but if I had to sum this book up in one word it would be…..WOW!!!!!! Hardball Retrospective takes statistical analysis to the next level. It takes a look at every season and every team from 1901 through 2013 and reanalysed the data . By using current standards it evaluates each individual teams scouting methods and the final outcomes for each season. It shows how the standings may have been different, which really alters the entire baseball landscape as we have known it.
Derek Bain has done an incredible job of reformulating team statistics and analyzing each decade. This book also does a nice job of explaining the terminology and methodology used in calculating all of these results. That is important in the fact that it will not be overwhelming for the average fan. Bain presents all of his results in easy to read charts and formats that makes it an inviting read. With some of the other statistical analysis books that are on the market the reader can feel overwhelmed and a little put off. Hardball Retrospective does a nice job of avoiding the pompousness that is sometimes contained in these types of books. Plus, what is not to love about that 70’s era picture of Rod Carew on the cover.
Fans of the game should really put on their thinking caps and check this out. It puts a whole new spin on the game we love and also makes you wonder what may have been for your team. For myself being a Phillies fan and realizing they have stunk for most of their existence, this book changed the way I look at them and realize they may have been lucky more than good when the finally found some success.
The link below can lead you to where you can pick this up in either the Kindle of Print version, but I think you will want to get the print version just to use as a point of reference over and over again
Much to most of baseballs surprise, it is the first week of September and the New York Mets have a tight grip on first place in the National League East. Mets fans will understand if the rest of the world says talk to us in a month when all the dust has settled and see where you are. Baseball is a game that you never count your chickens before they hatch. The Mets have been down this road during their history and it has not always been the best of outcomes for them. Now there is a book that helps Mets fans relive the highs, lows and spectacular events that make them proud to be called fans of the Metropolitans.
Some years it is harder to be a fan of the Mets than it is in others. From collapses, bad free agent signings, financial scandals and that pesky Bobby Bonilla contract that they are paying on until sometime during the 26th century, it can be tough to be faithful. Mets fans have proven their loyalty to their team and are being rewarded handsomely for it this year. Their team history has not always been the greatest either, from their inaugural 120-loss season to a few World Championships in-between, they still have a rich history that is worth celebrating.
John Snyder has written a fun book for New York Mets fans. It covers the entire team history from 1962 through 2010. It covers every facet of the team you could imagine, and breaks each year into segments. Team rosters, statistical leaders, final standings, attendance and a nice little one sentence synopsis that sums up the teams entire season. Next it presents in chronological order any of the important things that happened on or off the field that year that pertained to the Mets. Finally at the end of each chapter it relays an anecdote that pertains to that individual season. If you are trying to brush up on your team history, this book is really a fun way to approach it.
Mets fans obviously will enjoy this book. You can re-live memories or even learn about some years you may have been on sabbatical from your favorite team. Yes, that last sentence happens to most fans at one point or another. Fans of other teams who are not crazy about the Mets could use this book as a learning tool to gain some insight on team history. Also the author has published other team journals of this type, so your team may be represented by one of those volumes.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Clerisy Press