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paul secor

What Are Your Favorite Baseball Books?

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Thanks, Dan--I didn't realize that the movie was based on a non-fiction book. BTW that movie was filmed in Indianapolis while I was living there. I never ran into him, but supposedly Christopher Lloyd all but lived at the Chatterbox, the coolest jazz bar in downtown Indy. (Erm, actually the only one at that time, but still extremely cool nonetheless! I actually ended up sitting next to Mick Jagger & Ron Wood there one night... a long, strange story!)

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About the realism of the Tunis books, "The Kid from Tomkinsville" includes a savage portrait of Leo Durocher as the Dodgers' near-psychotic lying weasel of a manager, "Gabby." Tunis had a nice gift with names: the Dodgers stolid power-hitting Jewish catcher Jocko Klein, brothers Spike and Bob Russell, a.k.a. the Keystone Kids (Spike the shortstop and eventual young manager, a la Lou Boudreau, Bob the second basemen), lean immature rookie pitcher Bones Hathaway, etc. Tunis also wrote two dynamite novels in the mid-1940s about an idealistic Indiana high school basketball coach, "Yea Wildcats!" and "A City for Lincoln." Among other things, the second book deals directly with the still vigorous presence in the town of Springfield (read Muncie) of the Ku Klux Klan.

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Are there any good books out there that deal with the Black Sox scandal?  All of the Pete Rose talk has given me thought of re-visiting that era...

I strongly recommend the book that was the basis of the movie, Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out.

Dan,

Did you see the movie. I never read the book but I was wondering how faithful the movie was to the book?

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0028608151.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

I spend hours and hours as a kid looking thru an earlier edition of this book....

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Are there any good books out there that deal with the Black Sox scandal?  All of the Pete Rose talk has given me thought of re-visiting that era...

I strongly recommend the book that was the basis of the movie, Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out.

Dan,

Did you see the movie. I never read the book but I was wondering how faithful the movie was to the book?

Brad,

Its been quite a while since I read the book or saw the film, but my best recollection is that it was faithful to its source material (the author was definitely involved in the production-he had a small role in the film, according to the all movie guide website.)

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Sadaharu Oh: A Zen Way of Baseball by Oh and David Falkner (1984). Out of print, but cheap used copies are floating around. Really unusual for an "as told to" book -- the details of improving skills, practicing, getting through and over a slump were fascinating, I thought -- plus there's what amounts to a little "flip-book" animating Oh's swing -- little pictures printed in the upper righthand corner of about 30 consecutive pages -- really cool.

a_oh_i.jpg

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Quincy and Ghost of Miles --- Right on with Roger Angell. He is a gifted writer. His article in the New Yorker a couple of months ago about the Red Sox collapse is a classic. Sometimes when I'm reading a piece in the New Yorker, I'll page ahead to see how much is left. This time I didn't because I didn't want to know when it ended.

I don't thing anyone has mentioned Jim Brosnan. He's an ex-big league pitcher turned author. Something of an intellectual. The two books of his I'm familiar with are "The Long Season" and "Pennant Race".

I'm also curious about what became of Joe Charbonneau. I can't recall this specifically, but I think one of the things he was famous for was opening a bottle of beer with his teeth and drinking it though his nose. He was about the only bright spot in Cleveland baseball for a couple of decades.

Up over and out.

Edited by Dave James

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I'm also curious about what became of Joe Charbonneau. I can't recall this specifically, but I think one of the things he was famous for was opening a bottle of beer with his teeth and drinking it though his nose. He was about the only bright spot in Cleveland baseball for a couple of decades.

Up over and out.

Somehow I thought he opened the bottle in his nose-something about no cartilage left ...

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I like Halberstam's October '64, Roger Kahn's Boys of Summer and Charles Alexander's Rogers Hornsby (though the writing in the last is dry and hrd going).

John

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Just finished MoneyBall this past week .... fascinating stuff, and will provide the grist for a bunch of discussions/debates now that football is winding down.

The best part is getting a chance to see how the guys the A's drafted actually end up doing, v. the one's they passed on.

I need to go back and reread Summer of 49, and I think I have Boys of Summer around here somewhere as well.

Heart of the Order by Boswell is also a fun one, as it is more a collection of his columns and so can be picked up and put down easily. This one was written in 88' or 89' so doesn't have any of his new stuff.

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Found this one used last night. I'd never heard of it, but I bought it anyway, because it looked quite interesting and covers an era that I love:

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The author focuses not only on the fight to integrate baseball, but also on the impact of Commissioner Happy Chandler, who followed Kennesaw Landis in that position.

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Just finished The Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City, which is not exclusively a baseball book, but which put me in mind of this topic.. .that and there being no games to follow in the evening anymore.  Here are a few more titles that I've either picked up or have had my interest piqued by:

Crack Of The Bat: A History Of Baseball On The Radio

Negro League Baseball: The Rise And Ruin Of A Black Institution (reminds me, anyone seen Joe Milazzo lately?  EDIT:  looks like he's resurfaced recently after not posting for much of 2017?)

October 1964 (David Halberstam)

The Game Must Go On: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII

The Last Innocents: The Collision Of The Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers

Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley's Swingin' A's

 

...only 95 days till Pitchers and Catchers! :g

Edited by ghost of miles

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Jim posted a picture early in the thread (13 years ago!) that might be of my favorite baseball book, but the internet has taken the image away.

My favorite book when I was a kid was Strange But True Baseball Stories, by Atlanta sportswriter Furman Bisher. It came out in 1966, the year the Braves moved to Atlanta. It's a kid's book, but I still read it about once a year. The best stories are from the depths of the minor leagues, where odd things could happen - and still do.

I'm on my second copy, because about 22 years ago I was dating a woman whose sister and nephew were visiting. We went to a Braves game, and the sister complained that she couldn't get her son to read. The next day I gave him this book, and he read the whole thing in the car between Atlanta and Knoxville.

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2 hours ago, jeffcrom said:

Jim posted a picture early in the thread (13 years ago!) that might be of my favorite baseball book, but the internet has taken the image away.

My favorite book when I was a kid was Strange But True Baseball Stories, by Atlanta sportswriter Furman Bisher. It came out in 1966, the year the Braves moved to Atlanta. It's a kid's book, but I still read it about once a year. The best stories are from the depths of the minor leagues, where odd things could happen - and still do.

I'm on my second copy, because about 22 years ago I was dating a woman whose sister and nephew were visiting. We went to a Braves game, and the sister complained that she couldn't get her son to read. The next day I gave him this book, and he read the whole thing in the car between Atlanta and Knoxville.

I remember that book as well! Wasn't there a football equivalent too? It included a story about a college player sitting on the bench who came off the sidelines to tackle an opponent who was on his way to scoring a touchdown?

EDIT: found it, and said story is depicted on the cover. This book was well-thumbed by my brothers and me! Can't remember if we also had the baseball one or not.51CCEtyVidL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Edited by ghost of miles

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On 1/7/2004 at 1:57 PM, paul secor said:

...Joe Torre, who at 19 already had the looks and attitude of a 30 year old veteran. Joe was fat then, over 220 pounds, and his unbelievably dark skin and black brows were frightening. He looked like a fierce Bedouin tribesman whose distrust for everything could be read in the shifting whites of his eyes."

167881.jpg

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Thanks for posting that photo!
Joe Torre had mellowed by the time he was managing the Yankees, but after I read that passage to my wife, she always referred to him humorously as "the brooding Bedouin".

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On 1/7/2004 at 4:38 PM, Brad said:

There was a book several years ago that I thought was great. I think it was called Willie's Time by Charles Einstein, one hell of a baseball writer.

 

Another good one was Lawrence Ritter's The Glory of Their Times. Fantastic book. A must for any good baseball library.

 

I'd like to read Teammates. Heard it's really good. Usually anything Halberstam writes is top notch.

This is a rather old thread to be sure. Still go with these choices.  Read Teammates a couple of years ago.  Wonderful book. 

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torremets.jpg

ef19517f9da9941005a8d3d63b61a7f2--st-car

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fd4994dca51c10695851291b2fa557cb--pro-baNot a book, per se, but I bought these religiously every winter when I was a kid. They're still published, evidently? 

 

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yep! and not just for baseball. They're a ritual in grocery store mag sections, every year, whatever the sport.

https://www.streetandsmiths.com/

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It's strange to revisit this thread that I began almost 14 years ago and had forgotten about. In the meantime (probably 8 or 9 years ago). I got rid of my baseball books, with the exception of a handful, when I grew disgusted with the juicing and other things that had happened. I don't think that I still have any of the books that I mentioned in this thread.

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I read The Glory of Their Times five years ago and enjoyed it very much.

I can also recommend Pitching in a Pinch by Christy Mathewson.

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On 11/11/2017 at 8:24 AM, paul secor said:

It's strange to revisit this thread that I began almost 14 years ago and had forgotten about. In the meantime (probably 8 or 9 years ago). I got rid of my baseball books, with the exception of a handful, when I grew disgusted with the juicing and other things that had happened. I don't think that I still have any of the books that I mentioned in this thread.

I gave up on the game, but kept the books. But then I have five or six books on aquariums and haven't had one since high school.

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