Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Opening Day Awaits...New Baseball Books

We moved the baseball table to the front of the store, even though opening day is not for another few weeks. For one thing, we're trying to promote our event with Lawrence Baldassaro, author of Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball. There are a few releases that have come out already including:

Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella, by Neil Lanctot. The first African American catcher in the major leagues. Note--also qualifies for Baldassaro's book as his dad was Italian American.

Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend, by James S. Hirsch. Now in paper!

But I think those came out early to take advantage of African American history promotions. Most of the other titles are not quite out yet, as the main market for these books turns out not to be opening day, but Father's Day. And for that, the books tend to arrive late April, early May.

Some of the titles we're looking forward to include:

Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball's Longest Game, by Dan Barry. The game was between the Pawtucket Rod Sox and the Rochester Red Wings, and took place in 1961.

Uppity: My Untold Story about the Games People Play, by Bill White with Gordon Dillow. An all-star first baseman who became a broadcasting leged.

Knuckler: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch, by Tim Wakefield with Tony Massorati. How does a longtime Boston player stay sane with a pitch that drives baseball players crazy? And other questions.

The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter, by Ian O'Connor. How #2 became #1.
The House That Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923, by Robert Weintraub
It tends to be the Yankees, the Red Sox, and then everyone else. The Red Sox books tended to come from Houghton Mifflin (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), as they were based in Boston. Likely in the old days, that was also true of Little, Brown, but this Hachette imprint now tends to skew New Yorkish.

Stan Musial: An American Life, by George Vecsey
How could the man considered one of the greatest hitters of all time not make the cut as one of the top 25 baseball players of the 25th century? This is Jason's buyer's pick for the season.

And it turns out that Baldassaro's new release is just one of three notable baseball books coming from University of Nebraska Press:

Under Pallor, Under Shadow: The 1920 American League Pennant Race That Rattled and Rebuilt Baseball, by Bill Felber. When we last left baseball in 1919, it was the year of the Black Sox scandal!

Pitching in the Promised Land: A Story of the First and Only Season in the Israel Baseball League, by Aaron Pribble. There was an alleged terrorist attack on opening day.

1 comment:

Lee Carmichael said...

I'd add "Odd Man Out" by Matt McCarthy to your list.

It includes many current major leaguers (Prince Fielder, Bobby Jenks) and entertaining stories about his time in the minors.