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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Notable books about baseball published in 2017 | MLB.com

Please add your favorites. I’m looking for something new to read.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2018 at 08:15 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: books

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   1. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: January 10, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5603984)
Paging BDC, BDC to the white courtesy phone . . .
   2. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 10, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5604020)
I did not know Ned Coletti had a memoir out. Haven't heard much about him in a long time. What do people think of him now?

"Lefty O'Doul: Baseball's Forgotten Ambassador," by Dennis Snelling


Already have this one on my wish list. I have three other recent ones on there:

"Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ‘76" by Dan Epstein
"Rowdy Patsy Tebeau and the Cleveland Spiders: Fighting to the Bottom of Baseball, 1887-1899" by David L. Fleitz
"Urban Shocker: Silent Hero of Baseball’s Golden Age" by Steve Steinberg
   3. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 10, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5604117)
Blatant self-promotion: My favorite book published in 2017 was written by a guy who goes by "Kiko Sakata" on the Internet - Player Won-Lost Records in Baseball: Measuring Performance in Context
   4. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 10, 2018 at 02:13 PM (#5604122)
Fitting that the description of Keith Law's book is shorter than the title.
   5. Batman Posted: January 10, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5604123)
The title of Colletti's book refers to himself as "acclaimed." Or maybe the Dodgers are acclaimed.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 10, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5604126)
Kiko, count me in as another Primate who is still waiting for the Kindle version of your book and will be happy to download it if/when you can make that happen.
   7. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 10, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5604146)
Kiko, count me in as another Primate who is still waiting for the Kindle version of your book and will be happy to download it if/when you can make that happen.


I e-mailed the publisher and haven't heard back. I'll let you know when I do.
   8. mathesond Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5604201)
I'm a little surprised there was no mention of Baseball Life Advice. I personally am a big fan of her baseball writing.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5604220)
Kiko, count me in as another Primate who is still waiting for the Kindle version of your book and will be happy to download it if/when you can make that happen.

I'm holding out for the hardback. Paperbacks get mushed too easily, but hardbacks last forever.
   10. Rally Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5604229)
I’ll do a blatant self promotion as well: Winning: the only thing I know.

This might be the strangest baseball book out there. It is from the point of view of a fictional manager in a simulation baseball league, who just happens to be an extra-terrestrial being. It’s cheap on kindle and free if you have Kindle unlimited. I’m still working on getting the print edition together.

I’ll definitely check out Kiko’s book once you get a kindle edition.
   11. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5604240)
I enjoyed the Ned Coletti book. I don't feel I've ever felt one way or the other about Ned Coletti, I knew of him and the roles that he has had, and loosely recall the situations he's been through. I felt it was an earnest effort. The subject matter was terrific, he is relatable (even though I'll never be a MLB GM, I manage people, and work with others with massive egos/huge assets) and his life story is interesting. I think he has some very mixed feelings about Frank McCourt, no doubt the most difficult part of his professional career.
   12. puck Posted: January 10, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5604367)
I guess it was a late 2016 book, did anyone read John D'Aquisto's book?
   13. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 10, 2018 at 10:16 PM (#5604380)
Lefty O'Doul: Baseball's Forgotten Ambassador," by Dennis Snelling


Has anyone read this one yet? I find O'Doul a fascinating character, but I struggle with poorly-written books.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 11, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5604481)
I read the D'Aquisto book a while ago. IIRC it was a quick read and had some fairly entertaining stories, but the second half was basically an account of how he never, ever did anything wrong whatsoever, and all the bad stuff that happened to him was not at all what it looked like and oh so totally not his fault. It was enough to make me just a bit skeptical of his version of events.
   15. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 11, 2018 at 08:54 AM (#5604487)
Some of the best baseball books of 2017 include:

Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character (by Marty Appel)
Leo Durocher: Baseball's Prodigal Son (by Paul Dickson)
The Pride of the Yankees (by Richard Sandomir)
Hank Greenberg in 1939 (by Ron Kaplan)

You can't go wrong with any of these. All are very good.
   16. McCoy Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5604521)
Anyone read The Cubs Way? I've been waiting for a good book on the 2016 Cubs and I'm interested if this is the book I pick up.
   17. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 07:21 PM (#5605757)
Rally, is there an .epub version of your book available?
   18. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5605831)
I thoroughly enjoyed the Urban Shocker biography. I remain on a pre war baseball kick. I'm glad somebody bothered to write about Shocker. He always comes up in other period works but i knew next to nothing about him.
   19. BDC Posted: January 12, 2018 at 11:19 PM (#5605836)
Just saw your page, Jarrod :)

I read and reviewed only two new baseball books this year: John Carvalho’s bio of Ford Frick, and Steve Steinberg’s of Urban Shocker, which Tulo mentions. Both are very informative, though I didn’t find either really compelling reading.

I’ve got some recent juvenile novels on my shelf and will be giving a paper on them in Ottawa KS this April. The Baseball in Lit & Culture conference: anyone into baseball books & within range should come for the day (6 April) and check it out.
   20. Mike Webber Posted: January 13, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5605901)
BDC - I'll be at the lit conference, since I literally live in Ottawa. Let's make sure we meet.
   21. BDC Posted: January 13, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5605904)
Excellent, Mike! I'll see you then.
   22. Rally Posted: January 13, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5605961)
Rally, is there an .epub version of your book available?


Don't have an epub. I put it on amazon by uploading a word doc, and I did make it DRM-free so you might be able to convert it into another format. Also, if you buy it on amazon and send me confirmation (either use the BTF email feature or email rallymonkey (numeral five) at gmail dot com, I will send you the word file.
   23. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: January 13, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5605965)
One more for your list, BDC, although the baseball content is very tangential: Samuel Beckett Is Closed by Michael Coffey. It's a multi-stranded meditation on Beckett's work; one thread consists of an imagined dialogue between Beckett and an interlocutor while they attend a 1962 Mets doubleheader. Talk about futility . . .

Rally, I don't use Amazon, but I'd be happy to shell out directly to you for the word doc. I'll drop you an email.
   24. BDC Posted: January 13, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5605998)
Thanks very much, Jarrod. That book looks ... different. But I am sometimes a fan of Beckett in the right mood, and he would certainly have loved the '62 Mets, I agree :)
   25. PreservedFish Posted: January 13, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5606010)
Read that one and Rally's alien nerd one in the same week, and please post your reviews to the newsblog.
   26. Snowboy Posted: January 13, 2018 at 08:20 PM (#5606111)
8. mathesond
Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5604201)
I'm a little surprised there was no mention of Baseball Life Advice. I personally am a big fan of her baseball writing.


I've really enjoyed that book. Maybe it's a little too Jays-centric? (Then again, an Urban Shocker biography is too Shocker-centric? We can't all be Tom Verducci, covering every team in every market.) But so what, so she's a Jays fan, and many of her stories are Jays-related. It's not like no one else can understand the palpable sense of excitement and promise when Toronto picked up David Price to help with a playoff run.

The subtitle "Loving the Game that Saved Me" is a tipoff that she (author: Stacey May Fowles) is willing to discuss subjects like health and depression, and some of it is female-specific, but I felt the honesty and I wasn't off-put by any of it. Soon after beginning the book, I thought "this is someone I would probably enjoy watching a ballgame with" and I felt the same at the end of it. So that's something.
   27. Snowboy Posted: January 13, 2018 at 09:53 PM (#5606136)
"Rowdy Patsy Tebeau and the Cleveland Spiders: Fighting to the Bottom of Baseball, 1887-1899" by David L. Fleitz


Thanks for the tip. I've read a few of Fleitz's books, most notably Shoeless: The Life and Times of Joe Jackson. Great history book. (Holy crap, is it $55 on Amazon? I need to locate my copy; I lent it to a buddy, did he ever return it? We once made a pilgrimage to League Park in Cleveland; we could still see the skeleton of the ballpark - some of the brick wall façade beside third base was intact, and there was still a ticket booth on the first base sidewalk, and you could see how far it was to right field, a historical plaque outside mentioning "Bill Wamby and his unassisted triple play"...we tried to find the address listed for Joe and his wife in the book, but I don't think it existed - either Cleveland has renumbered its town, or Fleitz published a fake address to keep pretenders like us away.)

Holy crap, Rowdy Patsy Tebeau is also $55 on Amazon?

I haven't read it, but Brian Martin published a new book this year The Detroit Wolverines: The Rise and Wreck of a National League Champion, 1881-1888. If you're into that kind of old-tyme baseball, I'm sure it's good. I also own (have been gifted, thanks family!) his biography of Pud Galvin, and The Tecumsehs of the International Association: Canada’s First Major League Baseball Champions, which is not as local-yokel as you might think? Professional baseball was in its infancy, but they had Fred Goldsmith, and Joe Hornung, and Phil Powers, they all started there. Ross Barnes dropped in to manage for a year, and they won the league. Somewhere around here I probably also have a copy of his Buxbaum book, although there's nothing baseball related about that one, so we can disregard, but it was early proof that Martin can research and write.

To further discuss non-baseball books, and risk BBTF banishment, but at least it's sports-related and Detroit-related: I just read Murray Howe's "Nine Lessons I Learned From My Father" about Gordie Howe. Holy cow, was it poignant, coming from an non-author. I mean, you watch a show like "This Is Us" or read an Oprah book selection, and they are professionally trying to make you cry. Murray is not, he's just clapping away on his laptop, on the side of his bed, cross-legged on the floor, trying to get down what Gordie Howe was, and what he meant to him.

And so much of it hit home for me: from the way my Dad tried to teach me how to play hockey, using Gordie as an example, to how he tried to teach me how to walk around the world, subconsciously using himself and guys like Gordie as an example...it's just a real good read. It's not a hockey story, it's a human story, with lots of hockey anecdotes. Gretzky (and others) have been quoted often saying something like "Gordie Howe is the best hockey player of all time...but he's an even better human being." I thought that was maybe just some false humility from someone who was truly the best hockey player of all time, but when you listen to how Gordie acted both on and off the ice, he was worth emulating. Without him ever lecturing. He just went about his business, and did it correctly; those who wanted to live/act the same way, they were spared. Those who wanted to go another way...well, they might find their bell rung, stick shattered, forehead carved, or driveway filled in again with snow. Their choice?
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 14, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5606205)
I've read a few of Fleitz's books, most notably Shoeless: The Life and Times of Joe Jackson. Great history book. (Holy crap, is it $55 on Amazon?...)

More like $6.60, or $12.95 with free shipping for a copy that seems like it's virtually new.

Holy crap, Rowdy Patsy Tebeau is also $55 on Amazon?

Not sure where you're getting that, either. On the Amazon I'm seeing, it's $29.93 with free shipping.

OTOH since it's published by McFarland, don't ever expect the price to drop much until some used copies start appearing. McFarland has very small print runs and almost never remainders any of its titles.
   29. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 14, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5606210)
More about hockey than baseball, but Dan Barbarisi's (former Yankees beat reporter for the WSJ) book about Daily Fantasy Sports and his own experiences learning to become a DFS "shark" is a very fun read. Dueling with Kings: High Stakes, Killer Sharks, and the Get-Rich Promise of Daily Fantasy Sports"
   30. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 14, 2018 at 07:28 PM (#5606397)

I haven't read it, but Brian Martin published a new book this year The Detroit Wolverines: The Rise and Wreck of a National League Champion, 1881-1888. If you're into that kind of old-tyme baseball, I'm sure it's good. I also own (have been gifted, thanks family!) his biography of Pud Galvin, and The Tecumsehs of the International Association: Canada’s First Major League Baseball Champions, which is not as local-yokel as you might think? Professional baseball was in its infancy, but they had Fred Goldsmith, and Joe Hornung, and Phil Powers, they all started there. Ross Barnes dropped in to manage for a year, and they won the league. Somewhere around here I probably also have a copy of his Buxbaum book, although there's nothing baseball related about that one, so we can disregard, but it was early proof that Martin can research and write.


Thanks for the tips!

There's also a new book about the 1902 Pirates, which might serve as a sort of sequel to the Cleveland Spiders book (and this book about the Louisville Colonels, which apparently exists).
   31. Snowboy Posted: January 17, 2018 at 07:22 PM (#5608433)
More like $6.60, or $12.95 with free shipping for a copy that seems like it's virtually new.


Jolly Old...I was probably looking on amazon.ca, not amazon.com

You fellas below the 49th are so lucky. As an airline employee, I could probably fly to DC, take a taxi to and from your store, buy a book, and have it come in around the same price as buying it online and having it shipped to the front door of my house. (Which most assume is actually an igloo, but it's not: I live in a house; we got doors, windows, driveways, all the mod-cons up here in the Great White North.)

Not meaning to change the subject...if David Fleitz has a new book out, I would like to read it.
   32. AndrewJ Posted: January 17, 2018 at 08:51 PM (#5608486)
The University of Nebraska Press is currently having a 50% sale on its print books, including a lot of cool baseball titles.

Son of Blatant Self-Promotion... A while back I contributed a ton of research for a SABR book project which will be published by St. Johann Press, apparently in time for Opening Day 2018. It's a collection of edited newspaper accounts of Deadball-era World Series (similar to G.H. Fleming's books on the 1908, 1927 and 1934 seasons) complete with rare photos. No links yet.
   33. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: January 17, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5608506)
OTOH since it's published by McFarland, don't ever expect the price to drop much until some used copies start appearing. McFarland has very small print runs and almost never remainders any of its titles.


True enough, though about 15 years ago I came across an eBay seller listing scads of their titles for pennies on the dollar. I bought only a handful of baseball titles (might've been the only ones he had, actually) & rather more devoted to horror & sf movies. I think he lived near the company; maybe they dumped older stock locally?
   34. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: January 17, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5608511)
BDC -- given your expertise in baseball juveniles, which I gather stretches back some decades, I'm wondering if you might have some idea of the series I'm trying to think of from my childhood, which means it probably dates to the mid-'60s but possibly a few years before that. The focus was some little league team whose ace pitcher was nicknamed "Fireball" & who was a fount of baseball trivia. One of those books is where I first heard of Candy Cummings.

(I'd also like to dig up the book from the early '70s in which a Jim Bouton clone was roundly excoriated for disservice to baseball, mom & apple pie. I think the plot included a player named Jack Hagerman who was in the middle of some remarkable hitting streak. Why I remember that, I have no idea.)

   35. cardsfanboy Posted: January 17, 2018 at 10:20 PM (#5608539)
BDC -- given your expertise in baseball juveniles, which I gather stretches back some decades, I'm wondering if you might have some idea of the series I'm trying to think of from my childhood, which means it probably dates to the mid-'60s but possibly a few years before that. The focus was some little league team whose ace pitcher was nicknamed "Fireball" & who was a fount of baseball trivia. One of those books is where I first heard of Candy Cummings.

(I'd also like to dig up the book from the early '70s in which a Jim Bouton clone was roundly excoriated for disservice to baseball, mom & apple pie. I think the plot included a player named Jack Hagerman who was in the middle of some remarkable hitting streak. Why I remember that, I have no idea.)


Just a little googling, does this help?.... (click here)
   36. GGC Posted: January 22, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5610907)
I read one 2017 release: Kevin Cook's Electric October which used the 1947 World Series as a vehicle to portray six lesser known baseball men. Despite some purple sportswriterese, it is a good read. Cook can write an interesting gamer; it seems to me that he does a better job of this than most folks (or I found a quiet enough spot to read with focus.) It also helps that the focus isn't on the HOFers like Robinson and DiMaggio. Instead, he uses the less familiar canvases of Cookie Lavagetto, Bill Bevens, Al Gionfriddo, Snuffy Stirnweiss, Burt Shotton, and Bucky Harris. Only one of those is a HOFer.
   37. GGC Posted: January 22, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5610909)
Doublepost

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