Baseball has Been Very Good (to me?)

29 Sep

Forget about suggesting to Bostonians and other members of that rag tag commercial contrivance called Rex Sox Nation that baseball is only a game.The ignominious 162nd game of 2011, a game that will live in infamy(at least in Boston), will spawn (or spew) a torrent of invective, verbal turds, recrimination, fault— probably even some death threats. Such is the barbarism of a greater part of Sox fandom (who are not necessarily baseball fans)—this is a town that once booed the great Pedro Martinez on the occasion of a rare bad outing. And allowed a sportswriter, twice, not just once, to call a poorly performing Red Sock “human garbage”) Get the picture?

Me, I am happy to watch my son 13 year old Pudge play fall ball into mid October and to check-in on the ongoing MLB playoffs/post season.
And to sift through the baseball books that, though for the most part are released around spring training time, are more likely to be read in the long,dark baseball-less (unless you visit the lovely shores of Cuba,Puerto Rico, the Dominican, Mexico, Nicaragua or Venezuela) winter. I have linked my favorites to fuller descriptions of the chosen few:

Hammerin Hank Greenberg Baseball Pioneer-Shelley Sommer (Calkins Creek)

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago (Fantagraphics Books)

Baseball: How To Play The Game: The Official Playing and Coaching Manual of Major League Baseball by Pete Williams, Major League Baseball, Darrell Miller and Harold Reynolds (Rizzoli)

The Greatest Game Ever Pitched: Juan Marichal, Warren Spahn, and the Pitching Duel of the Century by Jim Kaplan (Triumph)

Donnie Baseball: The Definitive Biography of Don Mattingly by Mike Shalin (Triumph)

In the Time of Bobby Cox: The Atlanta Braves, Their Manager, My Couch, Two Decades, and Me – by Lang Whitaker (Scribner)

The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter – by Ian O’Connor (Houghton MIfflin)

The Beauty of Short Hops: How Chance and Circumstance Confound the Moneyball Approach to Baseball – by Sheldon Hirsch and Alan Hirsch (McFarland & Co)

Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella by Neil Lanctot ( Simon & Schuster)

The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 mph – by Shawn Green and Gordon McAlpine (Simon and Schuster)

Nobody’s Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History – by Armando Galarraga, Jim Joyce and Daniel Paisner (Atlantic Monthly)

The House That Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923 – by Robert Weintraub (Little Brown)

Under Pallor, Under Shadow: The 1920 American League Pennant Race That Rattled and Rebuilt Baseball by Bill Felber (Nebraska)
Cuban Star: How One Negro-League Owner Changed the Face of Baseball by Adrian Burgos (Hill and Wang)

Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn’t Want to Be One Mark Kurlansky (Yale)

Baseball and Memory: Winning, Losing, and the Remembrance of Things Past by Lee Congdon (St Augustine’s Press)

Flip Flop Fly Ball: An Infographic Baseball Adventure by Craig Robinson (Bloomsbury)

Currently reading Driving Home by Jonathan Raban (Pantheon)

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