Thursday, May 29, 2014
If you’re in the mood for a no-nonsense overview of the state of baseball book publishing in 2014, check this out.
When ideas fail, baseball books drift back to the same place where they’ve been anchored for two decades: the 1950s. Baseball books are instant replay for baby boomers. “There has to be a book every year about Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Ted Williams, or some combination thereof,” said Robert Weintraub, author of The Victory Season, which was published last year. “I’m guilty of that myself.”
The ’50s is farmland already tilled by literary HOFers like David Halberstam and Roger Kahn, by Jane Leavy and Richard Ben Cramer. Each go-round leaves fewer available plots. Leavy did Mantle in 2010. James S. Hirsch did Mays the same year. So it was inevitable that in 2013, Allen Barra would do them both, in the dual biography Mickey and Willie. If an author finds his mandate getting too small, he compensates by going big. Last year, Ben Bradlee Jr.’s biography of Ted Williams came in at a whopping 784 pages.
There’s a funny thing about the boomers trudging to the shelves. The overfamiliarity of the old ballplayers isn’t a turnoff; it’s the sell. “What you want if you’re a reader is to pull back a curtain on a time you remember well,” explained literary agent David Black.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of Field of Dreams:
I replied that to me, writing a novel was akin to a baker baking a loaf of bread: So long as the buyers pay for the bread, they were free to do with it as they chose. If they made dainty sandwiches, fine. If they fed it to their gerbils, fine. I realized that most books optioned for movies became gerbil food. I’ve never understood authors who are proprietary with their work, fighting any changes of plot or character. All I care about is being properly paid.
“Field of Dreams” was a stunning exception. I wept when I read the finished screenplay. “This is my own work doing this to me,” I said. “How can this happen?”
. . .
I loved the movie. Novels and movies are entirely different art forms. I don’t see how Phil Robinson could have done a better job of successfully transferring one to the other.
How have things changed in the past 25 years since the release of the movie? Fathers and sons still bond playing catch, still attend baseball games together, still share warm and luminous memories of games and players gone but not forgotten.
I have received letters from every part of the world, mainly from younger men, about how the ending of the movie affected them. Moved by those final scenes, men traveled, often thousands of miles, to take their fathers to baseball games, or just to have a catch in the backyard.
Much more in TFA.
for his generous support.
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: Goldman: Eliminating the shift a bandage for a phantom wound
(20 - 10:17am, Jul 24)
Last: SoSHially UnacceptableNewsblog
: OTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(2882 - 10:14am, Jul 24)Last:
The Good FaceNewsblog
: CSN: Enough is enough — time to move on from Ryan Howard
(44 - 10:13am, Jul 24)
: MLB: Tarp problems at Yankee Stadium
(22 - 10:11am, Jul 24)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)Newsblog
: 2015 Competitive Balance Lottery Results
(13 - 10:09am, Jul 24)
Last: SoSHially UnacceptableNewsblog
: OT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(372 - 9:59am, Jul 24)Last:
: Sports Reference Blog: 1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History
(33 - 9:58am, Jul 24)
Last: Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band.Newsblog
: OT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(856 - 9:56am, Jul 24)Last:
PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)Newsblog
: As shifts suppress offense, time has come to consider a rule change
(80 - 9:01am, Jul 24)
: Rubin: deGrom for NL rookie of the year?
(37 - 8:46am, Jul 24)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime Newsblog
: George "The Animal" Steele Mangles A Baseball
(131 - 7:44am, Jul 24)Last:
a fatty cow that need two seats (cough, cough)SABR - BBTF Chapter
: Who's going to SABR??
(86 - 5:36am, Jul 24)
Last: McCoy Newsblog
: OMNICHATTER 7-23-2014
(50 - 2:16am, Jul 24)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster playNewsblog
: Cameron Maybin Suspended 25 Games
(17 - 11:36pm, Jul 23)
Last: Nasty NateNewsblog
: Nats Fan in Colorado Shows Support with Curly W BEARD
(2 - 10:29pm, Jul 23)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October