Tagged: Roger Kahn

Odds and Ends


Being involved in baseball books allows ones self to explore many different avenues.  From the first time a game was ever played to modern-day 2015, the possibilities are endless.  Some stories are told direct from the sources while others have been passed down from generation to generation.  No matter what your specific preference is, as long as you have an interest in the common theme of the sport of baseball, there is a book out there somewhere for you.  Today we are taking a look across a few of the subject matters that are available.

51Mpr8WgycL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

By:Tony LaRussa-2012 Harper Collins Publishing

A story from one of the greatest managers of his generation in his own words.  A first hand account of the final on-field triumph of his illustrious career that ended in a World Series win.  An enjoyable book for all baseball fans that takes us inside the managers head and brings us along for the ride to the World Series.

download (2)

By:Jonathan Eig-2005 Simon & Schuester

An icon of baseball.  Lou Gehrig is easily one of the top ten people in baseball that almost everyone has heard of.  While not a first hand account of his life and career, it is a very detailed portrayal of the man who spent a lot of time in Babe Ruth’s shadow.  This book is becoming a baseball all-time classic due to both its subject and the writing.  A timeless player and his story has become a timeless book.

download (4)

By:Stuart Miller-2011 Acta Sports

For those that like to know about every aspect of the game and its history, this book is for you.  It walks you through the history of the bat.  How its made, how it was developed almost 150 years ago and shows how it has evolved to today’s modern bat.  It is a cool little book for those who really want to get all their facts about the hardware of the game.

download (3)

By:Josh Ostergaard-2014 Coffee House Press

Books like this are fun because they give you a different fans point of view.  The perspective of the game is a thing each person makes their own.  This book gives you how baseball is intertwined with American History and our society.  It is a little subjective but still a fun read.  It allows a whole new avenue for fans to explore beyond the game on the field.

41GsKC5RacL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

By:Bruce Adelson-1999 University of Virginia Press

Integration has always been a hot topic for Baseball Books.  Jackie Robinson alone has been debated numerous times.  There are so many different aspects that you would need 100 different books to cover them all.  This book takes a look within the hot-bed of racial issues, the American South.  It shows the struggles and violence that continued even after the integration of baseball by Jackie Robinson, and how it finally came to be.

51lZIyuMRRL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

By:Abraham Iqbal Khan-2012 University Press of Mississippi

Curt Flood has always been a lightning rod for criticism.  From his fight against the establishment of baseball to his handling of the media, he has gotten his share of trouble.  This book takes a look at race relations within baseball, the media coverage of those players and the eventual demise of certain players who were deemed activists.  It is a very interesting book that gives a different look on the race relations within the game and on Curt Flood’s story as a whole.

download (5)

By:Bob Kahn-2012 The Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Every reader has to start somewhere.  For me it was finding and falling in love with the game at a very early age.  Books like this one allow young readers to have books geared toward them.  The writing allows for learning about the game at a level that is easy for them to comprehend and enjoy.  Biographies like this one foster learning in the game as well as allowing the young fans to see all the different aspects of the game that have existed throughout its history.

41H1QY6S6KL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Edited by:Nicholas Dawidoff-2002 Library of America

Anthologies allow for the best of the best.  It gives you collections of the greatest writers, telling their greatest stories about the greatest game.  This books are easy to sit down and enjoy because you know you are getting the best.  For newer fans they help them understand the nuances of the game and what all the fuss had been about.  Some collections are better than others but this one truly gives you the best of the best.

This list is only scratching the surface on the subjects that are out there. Hopefully after looking through this some people now see how many different realms are out there and will think twice before picking up just anther player biography because it is the hot new celebrity story.  There is a wealth of knowledge out there just waiting to be discovered by new and old fans alike.

Happy Reading

Gregg

Rickey & Robinson-The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball


There are certain people in baseball that when you mention their name you can get countless things that they are remembered for.  Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey are two such people who are remembered for various things of monumental proportions that changed the game we love.  From the integration of baseball to the development of farm systems they both left the game in a better state than when they arrived.  Today’s book takes a look behind the scenes of their biggest and best remembered project the integration of baseball by a writer who witnessed it first hand.

download (1)

By:Roger Kahn-2014 Rodale Books 2014

When I saw this book my first thought was why do we need to go down this road again?  Have we not covered every angle as to what transpired leading up to the implementation of the project in 1947?  It has been almost 70 years since this happened, so what stone was left unturned? Yes it is possibly the biggest single event in all of baseball in the 20th century and something we as a society should remember for both its social and historical value, but why now?

Roger Kahn is an accomplished and talented writer whom I enjoy reading his work.  He has created a book that recounts the historical events of Branch Rickey’s project, and shows events that someone without first hand knowledge may not have known.  Kahn recounts conversations with Dodgers management, other writers and people he associated with at that time.  Bits of information that may have been inadvertently left out of the story at the original time or maybe on purpose, I’m not quite sure.  The conversations he is recalling in this book are with people who have passed away, so there is no real basis to refute the private off the record conversations that Kahn has had with others.   The reader is left to decide how much faith the have in Kahn ethically and did these conversations really ever happen?

If you take the book at it face value and accept the stories he tells as fact, then the book becomes an enjoyable first hand account of a historical moment.  If you look at the aspect that Roger Kahn is the last living person involved in all these conversations, and then question the accuracy of comments, then you will ruin the book for yourself.  Being Kahn’s self-proclaimed last book, I am not sure how to take the conversations.  I can see the book from both sides of the fence, but would like to think after all these years of reading Kahn’s writing that there is no reason to even ask the integrity question.

Baseball fans need to read this and form their own opinions.  It may be hearsay to some degree if you look at the book from that aspect, but it still is an enjoyable read from the history standpoint.  Also as Kahn’s last work it does have some historical value in its own right due to that fact.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Rodale

http://www.rodalebooks.com

Happy Reading

Gregg