Tagged: Pittsburgh Pirates

Big League Dream-The Sweet Taste of Life in the Majors


Baseball allows fans unparalleled access to our heroes.  It could be an autograph appearance at the local supermarket, a brief encounter at the ball park or some other circumstance that allows a friendship to blossom.  On that last event some of us are luckier than others in what happens, but in the end, it is all of sharing our love of the game.  Roy Berger is no stranger to the game, a life long fan that has had the great opportunity of attending multiple fantasy camps for some of his favorite teams.  I showcased Roy’s Previous book here last year that details his exploits as a fantasy camper.  The Most Wonderful Week of the Year  Now Roy is back with a new book sharing some of the friendships he has gained by being lucky enough to live the life even if it’s only one week a year.

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I will admit it, Roy is one lucky guy.  Having the means many of us don’t have, he is able to hob-nob with our heroes from various eras and make some really great memories in the process.  His just released book, Big League Dream walks us through the relationships he has created and also showcases the stories of  some great names as well.

The veteran of several fantasy camps, Berger has gotten friendly with former players such as Kent Tekulve, Mike LaVaillliare, Jim Mudcat Grant, Bucky Dent, Fritz Peterson and Steve Lyons, just to name a few.  But, the better side is he has forged relationships with these guys and gets the memories that goes along with it.

Each chapter in this book showcases the player’s life and career  and also details the authors interactions with them on a personal level.  It shows a more human side of these guys that some of us may never have access to at any time in our lives.  It is a neat look behind the curtain that portrays to the reader what it might be like if we were in his shoes. Another nice aspect of this book is Roy’s story about attending fantasy camp for the first time with his sons recently.  It adds a nice family theme to the book and shows what great relationships and memories baseball is capable of fostering.

Roy’s books are always a good read for the average baseball fan who loves the game.  It gives us an opportunity to live vicariously through Roy and see what it’s like to cross those lines even if only for one week a year.  Fans should check this one out, it’s a fun and easy read and gives a great glimpse at what life is like for those lucky enough to do something like this.

Check out Roy Berger’s website Big League Dream and check out all the various formats you can get this book in, you won’t be disappointed.

Happy Reading

Gregg

Two Very Similar Books That Leave Two Very Different Impressions


Most things in life are at the perspective of the person doing it.  Baseball offers many things that could be relative to the person witnessing the action, and you could have 100 people and get 100 different perspectives.  Today’s books offer essentially the same type of biography but the readers give two totally different outcomes from their authors.

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By:Richard Elliott-2016

Richard Elliott offers his biography of Clem Labine from a personal perspective.  Theirs was essentially a life long friendship that grew from hero worship as a child when Clem was still an active player, to a relationship as a trusted colleague when Clem was an instrumental member of the author’s family business.  It is an interesting transition between player and fan and adds a unique twist to the story.  It is not often you come across a story like this where the former player becomes almost a member of the family.

This book is very sentimental and has every right to be.  It is stories about the many interactions between player and young fan and how they formed an unlikely friendship. The book also allows the reader to see the fondness Elliott has for Labine still to this day, and the emotion of the author comes through strongly.  If you are looking for an in-depth bio on Labine’s career, then this one comes in a little light, but in all truth it is an enjoyable story on a personal level that really carries its own weight and worth the read.

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By:Tom Molito-2016

The next book also attempts to do the same.  Tom Molito was a die hard Mickey Mantle fan growing up and as he aged his business dealings allowed him to get close to Mantle on a personal level.  This one has the same hero adulation that the Clem Labine book does, but it also is from the perspective of a businessman.  It shows the struggle between childhood memories and hero worship, and the dark realities of an alcoholic and former hero you are trying to work with.

It gives a very interesting look into the life of Mickey Mantle during his final years and the daily struggles Mickey had with his own demons and those that his handlers had in up keeping his public persona.  The author has done a great job of being honest with the struggles he had dealing with the childhood memories and the stark truth that stared him in the face.  Fortunately for the author, there was some good memories that came from his dealings with The Mick, so all was not lost.

Both of these books offer good things for the reader.  Labine’s book I believe was intended to be just what it was, a tribute to a dear friend and since Labine’s death  it may have been a way to write the final chapter on their friendship.  The Mickey Mantle book on the other hand offers a direct look at the bleak reality of what Mickey Mantle really was near the end of his life.  I don’t think it was in any way intended to be a smear book and the authors tone throughout the book solidifies my opinion on that.   It is just one book had an easier subject to work with than the other.

Check out both books, because they are both short easy reads and give unique perspectives on both subjects.  Labine is a hard subject to find books on and this is one of the few I have found available.  Also, when was the last time you read a new and different story about Mickey Mantle, for most of us I bet it has been awhile.

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

 

Sports Publishing Coming Through for Baseball Fans


We have seen in the last few posts how certain publishers focus on baseball fans and really provide a great selection for them.  As we head into the pending long, hard winter, I figured it is always a good idea to showcase a few more publishers that take care of the fans and get us to our awaited destination, the first pitch of Spring.  Sports publishing has long been a staple of baseball book publishers and offers a diverse catalog for fans.  They offer multiple sports, but for me it’s all baseball or bust.  Historical, team related, biographical, new release or not, there always is something that fans can find that will appeal to everyone.

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By:Rich Westcott-2014

While this is not a new release, it still is a great look at the most vital position on the field, the Pitcher.  By going through the entire history of baseball, Westcott gives the reader some of the most memorable feats performed by Pitchers.  Heroes of the game such as Waddell, Chesbro, Cy Young and Mathewson through modern day greats like Ryan, Seaver, Carlton, Maddux and Randy Johnson all get their due.  It is a nice mix of various pitching accomplishments that have help build the history of the game.  51 chapters covering one position is a lot of memorable feats for the reader, and also introduces them to some not so mainstream stories.  Check this book out if you want to expand your knowledge of the game’s history and see the value that the Pitcher has added to our great game.

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By: Shifrin & Shea-2016

Lets face it, the Home Run is one of the coolest aspects of the game.  It can change the entire momentum of a game, series or even a season.  There is a reason we keep so many Home Run records and why we still are arguing who is the real Home Run King.  There are easily more than 101 home runs that one can call to mind but this is one of those books that narrows it to a certain number.  The one thing the reader has to remember is that they will not always agree with the 101 that were picked.  So it offers some debate material for you and your friends to discuss over a few beers, but in the end, everyone’s list will be different.  The authors give a nice sampling of Homers and it allows the readers to re-live some of the greatest moments in the game’s history.  But in the end, someone, somewhere is going to disagree with at least 1/3 of the picks.  So keep an open mind going into this one.

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By:David Finoli-2016

There was a post in a Facebook group this week asking about this series of books.  It is a very interesting series that puts a unique spin on your favorite team.  The Pittsburgh Pirates book above is the latest in the series and offers you the worst players to wear certain uniform numbers, statistics and history base off the numbers as well as first home runs by certain numbers.  There are so many various things they offer related to the numbers that it is almost impossible not to enjoy these books.  If you are a fan of a certain team you will enjoy this series immensely.  Check out Sports Publishing’s web site for their other team offerings.

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By: Tim Hornbaker-2016

We are all familiar with the Black Sox scandal of 1919 so no need to rehash it here.  I tend to shy away from the Joe Jackson books at this point because I am not really sure if I am going to get anything new from reading another one.  Well I am glad to say Hornbaker has given me a more complete picture of Joe Jackson than I ever had before.  He looks at his time prior to joining the Chicago White Sox and his career blossoming career in Cleveland.  It paints a much broader picture of the center focal point of the Black Sox scandal and an further understanding of the real Joe Jackson.  No matter what side of the scandal you sit on, this book is worth taking a look at.  It provides some new perspectives of all events of Jackson’s career and life.

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By: Tim Hornbaker-2015

I wonder honestly if Ty Cobb gets more coverage now than he did while he was alive.  He also is a very tough market to write a book during the last few years.  Hornbaker’s book is another in a long line of recent Cobb themed books and like his Joe Jackson book provides a different perspective on the Hall of Famer.  As always it is up to the reader to decide what is fact and what is legend, but the author does an admirable job at presenting alternative truths about Cobb.  It is worth the time to read but in the end, the reader has to make the decision which one of the Cobb books presents the most truth.  After all the books, both fact and fiction,  that have addressed Cobb, it is going to be hard for readers to ever figure out what Cobb’s true story actually is.

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By:Rich Westcott-2016

Finally, we take a look at one of my hometown favorites.  This book covers more than just baseball and usually I don’t touch these book on here,(see my disclaimer above), but hey……….it’s Philly!  It takes a thorough look at Philadelphia and the Championships we have been lucky enough to celebrate through the years.  Baseball, Basketball, Football and Hockey are covered as well as showing the transition from a town built on Dynasties to a town laden in a Championship drought for so many years.  It events like these that helped shaped me as the sports fan I am today.  It also shows that the Philly fans may not be as bad as we are always portrayed.

Take the time to check the books out on Sports Publishing’s website.  They have these and many other great baseball books that are sure to please everyone.

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

Happy Felsch-Banished Black Sox Center Fielder


Some subjects, no matter how much time passes, will always be allowed to produce new information.  The Black Sox scandal almost a century later is still raising questions among fans and historians alike.  Now we have another book out on the market that helps put to rest some of the questions and clarify some of the finer points of the scandal.

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By:Thomas Rathkamp-2016

Happy Felsch, was the veteran Center Fielder on that ill fated 1919 Chicago White Sox team.  A man who was no stranger to battles with owner Charles Comisky and his penny pinching ways,  Felsch was looking to get what he deserved financially from the game.  Historians have been unsure if his participation was voluntary or out of fear of reprisal by local gamblers.  Either way he was implicated in the throwing of the World Series.

Felsch was always the most vocal of the participants after the scandal broke and open to talking about it.  Rathkamp’s book looks at a few of the interviews that Happy Felsch gave with some writers in subsequent years and attempts to connect the dots of the Black Sox scandal.  It is a valiant attempt at something that has been attempted many times before.

What this book does is offer another point of view from one of those involved.  We have several books on Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver and those that analyze the course of events and the entire World Series, but not much more.  For me it was nice to get a different perspective from a new player in this scandal.  Through these interviews that occurred more than 50 years ago now,  Felsch gives snippets of his view of the events and what transpired and to some degree why he was innocent.

Now here is my problem with the entire Black Sox scandal.  We are at this point, working with documented history from almost a century ago.  We are interpreting conversations and interviews that no one who walks this earth at this point were a part of and are putting our own spin on these events.  Our spin being influenced by our current views and not those of a century ago.  So are we really interpreting their comments as they intended?  For that I am not so sure.  But it takes each reader to interpret what this book offers to the end subject on their own.  I myself like this book on its own,  because it offers a new perspective on the subject, but I am starting to wonder when have we maxed out and learned all we will be able to about the Black Sox scandal?

If you are a fan of this era or the scandal itself, check the book out, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

You can get this book from the nice folks at McFarland

Happy Felsch

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

Bring In the Right-Hander!


Sometimes I find a baseball autobiography and wonder if this player really needed their own book.  If that player had an average, or even less than average career, what could they possibly bring to the table?  Sometimes I get a pleasant surprise when one of those average player writes a book that holds my interest and produces a good reading experience for me.  Today’s book falls into that pleasant surprise category and from an unlikely source to boot.

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By:Jerry Reuss-2014

Jerry Reuss by most standards had an average career.  Never the ace of a staff, but a serviceable arm that would eat innings and help teams in their push to the top.  Pitching for eight teams over a 22 year span, Reuss compiled an impressive win total of 220.  From a pitcher that never won more than 18 games in any given season,  that is an impressive total.

Jerry Reuss starts the reader on a journey through his early years in Missouri, where he first dreamed of becoming a major league pitcher.  Signing with the hometown St. Louis Cardinals, Reuss had all the makings of  a real life dream come true.

Reuss then shows the reader what the inside, off the field life of a baseball player is really like.  Back stabbings by the upper management people he trusted, trades, releases and other not so pleasant things a player deals with on an annual basis.  It shows how much more players even back in those days had to deal with off the field.

The big thing I took away from this book is how remaining true to yourself and dealing fair with people will help you get ahead at whatever your vocation.  Jerry Reuss played more years than many of his contemporaries did who maintained the same skill set.  It comes across as being a combination of perseverance at his chosen trade and being a decent person on and off the field.  In the end this average pitcher ended his career, after a few stops in different cities, the proud owner of a World Series ring.

This book is a pretty enjoyable read.  It moves along at a brisk pace and holds the readers interest through more than just on the field happenings.  Anecdotes about himself and teammates keep you engaged and give you a real feel what it was like to be a teammate of Reuss’.  It also shows a glimpse of the personality of Reuss himself which comes across as a fun loving guy and a great teammate.

If you are a fan of Reuss or any of the teams he played for, take the time to read this book.  It is not a book that one would compare to War & Peace in any way.  It is more of a breezy light hearted read of an average pitcher with an interesting journey.  I wasn’t expecting much out of Reuss’  stories about his career and his teammates, but was pleasantly surprised at what I got.  You never know who or what is going to present you with an enjoyable book.

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

Bring In the Right-Hander!

Happy Reading

Gregg

Born Into Baseball-Laughter and Heartbreak at the Edge of the Show


No matter who you are, baseball starts with some sort of dream.  It could be a dream to see a baseball game in person, meet your favorite player or be one of the chosen few who gets to play the game professionally. What if you are one of the chosen few who belong to a family where baseball would be considered the family business, quite honestly…..how cool would that be for any of us?  Today’s book takes a look at one of the lucky ones that gets to call baseball their family business and the amazing experiences that it has afforded him and his family throughout their careers.

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By Jim Campanis Jr-2016

For my money, to be considered baseball royalty you do not have to be a Hall of Fame caliber player.  I just think you have to have a genuine love for the game and put all your efforts into it.  For those not familiar with the Campanis family, they have dedicated their lives to the game across three generations, making contributions both on and off the field.

Starting with Grandpa Al who dedicated his life to the Dodgers, both in Brooklyn and New York, he contributed to building National League powerhouses that for decades were tough to beat.  Second generation Jim Sr., had a respectable career on both the major league and minor league levels.  With stops in Los Angeles, Kansas City and Pittsburgh during his playing days, he was able to witness many things that none of us will ever get to experience around baseball.  Finally it brings us to Jim Jr.  A hot prospect in the Seattle Mariners system, that quite possibly through no fault of his own, never got the real shot he deserved to make it to the Major Leagues.

Born Into Baseball takes a look at the journey of Jim Jr.  From his upbringing experiencing the Major Leagues through his Father Jim and Grandfather Al’s careers, which ultimately led to him deciding this is what I want to do with my life.  Jim takes us through his college experiences and how he learned to appreciate and play the game on a different level.  Next he leads you through his time in the Minors.  Sharing with the reader all of the friendships he made along the way as well as sharing the lighter side of being a Minor Leaguer.  He also shows the reader what a player goes through when he realizes, by his own choice or someone else’s, that it is time to lay the dream to rest.  It is a very interesting look at what goes through the mind of an aspiring player.

One of the more interesting aspects of the book is the Campanis history lesson.  You learn about his grandfather Al who spent a lifetime with the Dodgers, representing them as they both deserved and expected.  Only in the end, to watch his entire career collapse around him due to a few unfortunate comments on national television.  It is a sad legacy to leave behind and hopefully as time goes by people will forgive the poor judgement of the comments and give Al the respect he earned throughout his lifetime.  Jim also looks at his Dad, Jim Sr’s baseball career.  It shows a level of dedication to the game and a desire to compete and reach a dream at almost any cost.

I always find it interesting the the players who never quite reach stardom always have the best insight to the game.  Perhaps it is because they spent so much time honing their craft trying to improve.  Or maybe it is because they were always behind someone a little better on the depth charts.  Whatever the reason may be, Jim Campanis has a great outlook on how the game should be played and showed himself as a willing student throughout his entire career.  What is contained in these pages proves you don’t need to be a Hall of Fame player to be a Hall of Fame person.

If you have an interest in getting a feel for what it is like to be on the other side of the baseball curtain, check this book out.  It gives a real good look at what it takes to make it to the big leagues and how much you really have to sacrifice to make your dreams come true.

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

Born Into Baseball

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

 

 

 

The Most Wonderful Week of the Year


Why are we baseball fans?  What draws you to the game?  Is it something tangible or is it a feeling you get from watching it?  Is it the same reason that it was when you were 13, 43 or 63 years old?  Obviously everyone will have a different answer and quite honestly there is no wrong answer.  One thing we all have in common is at one point in our lives, every single one of us wanted to be out on that field as a member of the pros.  That dream faded for many of us when we realized we had not one bit of talent to back it up.  Today’s book takes a look at one of the very few who were lucky enough to keep that little boy’s dream alive inside themselves, and while it may be 40 years behind his schedule it is still a monumental dream fulfilled.

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By Roy Berger-2014

Roy Berger is an average guy just like the rest of us.  Making a home, enjoying his family and friends and raising his kids to the best of his abilities.  But deep down inside he had that dream that to some degree we all still have, he wanted to be a major league baseball player.  While reality sets in for all of us when we realize we don’t have the ability to back up the dream, all of us like Roy never totally let go of that dream.  Being a Pittsburgh Pirates fan in his youth, the 50th anniversary of the 1960 World Series Champions led for a unique opportunity for Roy to make his dreams come true.

Fantasy Camps to me were always a toy for the rich fans.  The ability to hob-nob with the heroes of yesteryear and the chance to be shoulder to shoulder with them out on the battlefield.  Now while I still believe these are the tools of the affluent fan, this book shows us how much dedication one has to put into playing in a fantasy camp along with proving no matter what your financial status is in life, you can’t put a dollar sign on your dreams.

Roy Berger takes us on his journey through four Fantasy Camps.  He starts with his first true love the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1960 team.  The Pittsburgh Pirates being the first love of his youth was a logical starting point and provided good value for the money.  He shows the reader how any fan might feel going into the first fantasy camp and it gives you a good feel for what these camps are all about.  It also shows how addictive the game of baseball really is to true lifetime fans.

His second year he takes us on tour with the Detroit Tigers.  The combination of rain delays and cancellations at that camp plus the fact that he had no real attachment to the Detroit Tigers led to his worst experience of all the visits.  It was the lowest price of all the camps he attended and proves the adage you get what you pay for.   This trip also showed that even though he was a player in his late 50’s that he still treated the game with respect and went through the needed preparation to give it his best.

His third year, 2012, Roy takes us to his adult adopted team, the New York Yankees fantasy camp.  The highest priced of all the camps, because its the Yankees and they can do it, it offered the most amenities along with the opportunities to hob nob with the most players. An overall great experience both on and off the field, the only downside of course was the price.

Roy’s final fantasy camp took us back to the Pirates, which to me seems to be the best value of all the camps he attended.  A combination of on field injuries and Father Time catching up with Roy made this his poorest performance at any of the camps and lowest showing in the camps final standings for any of the teams he had been on.

This book is a great example of how no matter how old we are, we never can outgrow that little kid inside of each of us that wants to play baseball.  I find it amazing that grown men will pay thousands of dollars for a week of playing baseball with some of their heroes.  It is also the opportunity for grown men and women to create new friendships that endure year to year.  Without doubt this is very a unique opportunity and one that price will ever forbid me from partaking in, and at any age, but if I could afford it I would most certainly go.

Roy’s book does a great job of showing the reader what one goes through in a Fantasy Camp.  It is not just show up and play ball, because at our age (over 40) most of our bodies would just laugh at us if we tried that.  He shows the preparation and dedication required to play  and the most important what it takes to not look like an idiot in front of your heroes.  It shows that no matter how old we get, as long as you can write the check,  baseball will always keep us young at heart.

If you have any sort of inner child this book is great for you.  It will show you where baseball may lead you if you always stay true to both yourself and the game.  You can get this book direct from Roy Berger himself.

The Most Wonderful Week of the Year

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

Burleigh Grimes-Baseball’s Last Legal Spitballer


I will admit my knowledge of baseball prior to World War II is weak at best.  It seems with the popularity of the post war era, it has always held my attention better and quite honestly the record keeping from that point forward is a little more detailed.  When I do venture out of my comfort zone it is usually with an author that I am familiar and one that I trust so that I know I am getting solid information about the player of that era.  In the internet age, the name Burleigh Grimes is easily accessible  and his legacy is easily explained to legions of fans.  But what if you want more than just the last legal spitballer in the game and that he was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1964?  I have just the book that puts all the the pieces in place about a life well lived.

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By:Joe Niese-2013

For my journey through this period of baseball history Joe Niese was a more than competent tour guide.  I was familiar with his writing from  his other book Handy Andy that we reviewed on the Bookcase previously, so I was confident this book would be just as good.  He always does top notch research with his books as well, so you know you can trust the facts you get from his books.

Niese walks the reader through the full circle picture that was Burleigh Grimes.  From his modest childhood in Wisconsin, through a Hall of Fame baseball career that included four separate trips to the World Series, with three different teams and the opportunity to play next to a record 36 Hall of Famers.  It easily shows the talent that was playing during Grimes Era as well as the level the game was as a whole prior to World War II.  It also leads to debate about Grimes’s personal statistics as compared to others in the era.  Based on today’s standards I see him as Hall worthy, but it seems when taken against a segmented portion on his era, it may help feed the flames of debate among the detractors who argue about him being enshrined.

Next Niese takes the reader through his post playing days.  His lone stint as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, his life as a coach and scout as well as member of various Hall of Fame committees.  On the personal side you seem to learn a lot about Grimes and get a feel for what he was all about.  Between looking at his time within baseball as strictly a job and the combative attitude he took with him on the field, Burleigh did not give the outward appearance of a real people person.  Perhaps that attitude was helped by having five wives. Finally the author looks at his final retirement years and living a normal life.  To me it seems that Grimes came to grips with the world around him and lost some of his outward grumpiness.

For my money,  Joe Niese did a great job with this book.  He brought back to life someone that not many of us are familiar with.  He portrays a different era in baseball in a light that all fans can relate to and understand. In my mind’s eye this became more than just a sepia tone vision of some old footage from days gone by.  Niese has allowed the reader to feel like they are actually there and understand how things worked during that time.

I think any fans of the history of the game will enjoy this.  It brings to light another forgotten baseball personality.  Just because you made it to the Hall of Fame does not mean you will not fall victim to Father Time.  This book introduces a new generation of fans to one of the games true characters.  Check it out I don’t think you will be disappointed.

You can get signed copies of this book direct from authir Joe Niese

Burleigh Grimes

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