Baseball Books (No, Not Mine Or Torre’s)

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I just got my copy of Publishers Weekly, the trade magazine that covers the book industry in the same way that Variety, its sister publication, covers Hollywood. There’s a section on forthcoming sports books and I thought some sounded interesting.
Take a look at the spring roster of baseball titles – something for fans of all stripes.

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 “As They See ‘Em” by Bruce Weber. Can’t wait for this one. Weber, a New York Times reporter, spends a season around major league umpires, even going to umpire school, and reveals all sorts of secrets. (March)
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“Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit” by Matt McCarthy. In the tradition of “Bull Durham,” McCarthy comically recounts his year as a southpaw for the Provo Angels, the team’s Class A club in Mormon country. (Feb. 19)
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“The Complete Game: Reflections on Baseball, Pitching, and Life on the Mound” by Ron Darling. The former Mets star and current broadcaster dissects the art of pitching. He’s doing a 10-city author tour, so he’s sure to be signing at lots of stores. (April)
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“Catcher: How the Man Behind the Plate Became an American Folk Hero” by Peter Morris. A look back at catchers in history and how they became more and more important to the sport. (April)
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“Yogi Berra: The Eternal Yankee” by Allen Barra. I know. Yet another book about Yogi. But this one’s supposed to chronicle his defining moments. Besides, I like the cover. (March)
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“Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O’Malley, Baseball’s Most Controversial Owner, and the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles” by Michael D’Antonio. Since there will be two books about George Steinbrenner coming out, why not one about O’Malley? (March)
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“Fighting Words: The Media, the Red Sox and the All-Encompassing Passion for Baseball in Boston” by Jerry Beach. A detailed account of “the combative relationship between the media and the Beantown team.” Is there a combative relationship? I guess we’ll find out. (April)
“Bottom of the Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball From Itself” by Michael Shapiro. A biography of the men who tried to change the course of the sport. For history buffs. (June)
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“Hit and Run: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez” by Selena Roberts. (No, that’s not A-Rod; it’s investigative reporter Roberts. There’s no cover yet.) The book is described as “an expose of A-Rod’s controversial path to self-destruction.” If he wins another MVP in ’09, will that be considered self-destruction? (May) 
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“The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality” by Jeff Pearlman. Well, we knew the Clemens books were coming. They were inevitable. Here’s the first. No cover yet. (June)
Happy reading.

21 comments

  1. jl7350a@american.edu

    I cannot wait to read the A-Rod book. Should be an interesting look into a very complex guy.

    Josh
    jorgesaysno.blogspot.com

  2. Elizabeth D

    Jane,
    Nice look at all the baseball books coming out soon. It looks like they’ll all be a great read. Is it just me, or is A-Rod one of those guys that seems to succeed when there is the most media attention on him (minus clutch situations).
    -Elizabeth
    http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

  3. Jane Heller

    I agree on the ump book, Cob and Russell. I’m fascinated by what really goes on with umpires. Plus, Weber’s a good writer.

    I know what you mean about the reading list, Julia. Mine is getting longer and longer.

    Thanks, V. You’ve been there for me since I first arrived at MLBlogs. Much appreciated.

    I’m curious about it too, Josh. Do you remember Selena Roberts’ article on A-Rod when she was an investigative reporter at the NY Times? It was about his real estate business. If there’s anything to unearth, she’ll dig it out.

    A-Rod is an attention magnet, for better or worse, Elizabeth. If he isn’t used to it by now, he’ll never be.

  4. flairforthedramatic

    No problem Jane.. ya know, I forgot I was the first to ever comment on your blog wayyyy back in August.. and now you’ve clearly outdone me with the immense fandom. These blogs grow up so fast lolz..
    – V [http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com ]

  5. Jane Heller

    I hope you’ll tell us what’s in the Baseball Prospectus, Joe. You’re the stats guy. I’m clueless about that stuff.

    Yup, you were the first to ever comment here, V. I was so excited I couldn’t believe it. You even asked a question during my live video thing for the book, remember? But immense fandom? LOL. I just post more often.

  6. redstatebluestate

    Even in publishing the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers get all the attention. I’m looking forward to the Weber book. I have mad respect for the umpires… what a thankless job. Thank you, Jane for featuring these… don’t worry, “She-Fan” is still first on my reading list.
    –Jeff
    http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

  7. Jane Heller

    The umpire book seems to be the favorite, Jeff. I’m also thinking that the one about the minor league pitcher could be fun, especially if it’s like “Bull Durham.”

    My book before Ron Darling’s? Wow, Mike. I’m honored. No kidding. I always liked Darling. He’s a smart guy – didn’t he go to Yale? – so I’m betting his analysis of pitching will be fascinating.

  8. bigjay21

    Bottom of the 9th, Yogi and the Catcher book seem interesting….. I will wait for the “She-Fan in the City” movie though ;-)… I wonder who will play you?

  9. Jane Heller

    Don’t wait for the “She-Fan” movie, jerseybombers. You could be waiting a long time! We’ve been trying to get the book to Penny Marshall. She’s our first choice as a director. But it’s all about the Oscars right now in Hollywood. Sigh.

  10. mikeandhismets

    Now that I think about it that would be reading a Mets book over a Yankee book…Hmmmm…Might have to rethink that one???? You are right he went to Yale. In the pic on my page I am actually wearing a Ron Darling t-shirt. He autographed the back before the game…

  11. Jane Heller

    That’s why I was so flattered, Mike. I couldn’t believe you were choosing a Yankee book over a Mets book! I’ll understand if you don’t choose mine, but Darling’s doesn’t come out until April. You’ll be done with mine in two days!

  12. hooksfan

    Some other suggestions for a great baseball read. Eight Men Out. It’s about the Black Sox and the 1919 World Series. It goes into great detail of how the World Series was thrown. The other would be Dugout Wisdom. It’s a compilation of retired baseball players’ first-person accounts of a moment in their lives when they doubted their dreams, overcame adversity or someone guided them with destiny-altering advice. I had my copy autographed by Gaylord Perry who was a member of the Corpus Christi Giants when they won the Texas League back in 1958. What’s ironic is the author who wrote this book interviewed Kirby Puckett the day before he passed away.

    http://thehooks.mlblogs.com/

  13. Jane Heller

    Dan, those are great suggestions. And how cool that you got Gaylord Perry to sign your copy of “Dugout Wisdom,” a book I’d really like to read.

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