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DianaPrince
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 6:38 am    Post subject: Baseball books Reply with quote

Resurrecting this old thread.

Working at a bookstore lots and lots of books pass between my greedy little fingers and as of late I've been going through the Phils books a great deal. On Saturday, September 25 Mike Schmidt will be signing at the BC Collectibles at my mall and my store is trying grab on to them to catch the overflow. What we are going to end up doing is putting one or two of our books in with their display and they would send people over to our store to get them. Thie book I'm suggesting is Legends of the Philadelphia Phillies. It's a really nice coffeetable books with glossy pictures.
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of my favorite baseball books are my favorites because of the writing. I'm not big on the jock autobiographies even though I have found a few of them to be of interest over the years (as I know some of you have). They just usually aren't very well written. I've read many of them but wouldn't necessarily put them at the top of my list.

I am a fan of baseball literature because it reflects the best things about baseball: the way it influences American culture, the poetic way a baseball game flows, an eloquent description by a broadcaster. These are the best qualities about baseball, which baseball writing expands on.


The Boys of Summer, by Roger Kahn
(once rated by Sports Illustrated as the best sports book ever written)

A Lefty's Legacy (Jane Leavy) - Simply sublime, and written by a woman. Well-researched, well-written, perfectly put together. I've recommended this to countless people, baseball fans of several teams and non-fans alike, and not one of them has not come back and thanked me later. Jane Leavy has scratched beyond the surface of writing a mere biography, and has revealed mystique to the best extent possible.

October 1964 (David Halberstam)
Summer of 1949 (David Halberstam)

A great writer on politics and social change combines them and skillfully describes events in two different settings--the World Series in a time of turmoil, and a pennant race during the golden era of the game.

Wait Til Next Year (Doris Kearns Goodwin) --not entirely about baseball but a wonderful portrait of 1950s life woven around baseball.

Baseball as America -- compilation of photos and articles detailing the national pastime's impact on our culture.
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dodgerblue6 wrote:
October 1964 (David Halberstam)


Awesome read....absolutely entertainingly informative.

I really liked Three Nights in August, and years ago I bought and read If I Had a Hammer by Hank Aaron and liked it.
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DianaPrince
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fun read is Tales From the Phillies Dugout by Rich Westcott

One of the tales is about Scott Rolen which I'm sure all of the Cards fans can enjoy. I'm sure all the ML teams have certain things they do to haze the rookies. In Philadelphia one of the stunts is on the last game of a road trip to steal the rookies clothing and replace it with women's clothing. The player has to wear the clothes until the they get home in Philly.

So one afternoon in Chicago Scott goes back to his locker and finds a polka dot top and a pink poodle skirt instead of his own clothes. Now this is bad enough but his teammates decided to take it a step further. They had the team bus park a block away from the stadium. So Scott had to walk from the stadium to the bus wearing this outfit his teammates picked out. Waiting outside to see him were his parents, some friends, Niki, and some of her friends. And out of the stadium comes Scott wearing this horrific outfit. I'm sure you can imagine the shock on their faces as he walked by to the bus.

Like I said the dress thing is something the Phils do every year. Last year Ryan Howard and Gavin Floyd were given plain dresses with matching pantyhoseand bucket hats. Ryan had red and Gavin had blue or was it the other way around? Anyway, they actually put it in the 2004 Home Companion DVD.

I don't know what they did for 2003 but for 2002 they went with costumes. And because of what happened in September 2001 no one did it that year so all of the 2001 rookies had to wear dresses along with the 2002 rookies. Let me see if I can get this straight - Brandon Duckworth was a French maid, Brett Myers was a fair princess, Eric Valent was the red Power Ranger complete with helmet, and Jason was a sailor girl. It was in the paper in mid September that year after I was in school. I had planned to go up to Jason and say "Hey, Sailor" the next time I was at the Vet. But my last game was rained out and I didn't get a chance to see him until March and by that point I thought it was just too far removed to get a good reaction. Laughing
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, the womens' clothing thing is pretty universal across MLB.

Actually last last season, a pair of go-go boots prevented Cleveland Indians rookie pitcher Kyle Denney from serious injury. He was hit in the right calf by a gunshot that game into the team bus as it was traveling in Kansas City. His teammates had made him dress as a USC cheerleader, complete with go-go boots.
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DianaPrince
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IlliniAmy wrote:
Actually, the womens' clothing thing is pretty universal across MLB.

Actually last last season, a pair of go-go boots prevented Cleveland Indians rookie pitcher Kyle Denney from serious injury. He was hit in the right calf by a gunshot that game into the team bus as it was traveling in Kansas City. His teammates had made him dress as a USC cheerleader, complete with go-go boots.


I had not heard that. He probably thanked God for those go-go boots. I didn't know that Kansas City was so dangerous.
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I've heard that's pretty common too.

There are two different "Tales from the Dodger Dugout" but I've only read (and only possess) one, that by Carl Erskine, who played for both the Brooklyn and L.A. teams. The second one is by Tommy Davis, and is a recent publication.

But again, I'm not so big on the dugout stories, fun as they are, as I am on the "big picture" stories.
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soxygirl18
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sort of made me mad how after the World Series so many books and stuff were out about the Red Sox, some of it was really cool, but a lot of it was people just trying to make money off of the win.

I've read a few of the books that have come out, but the one I really enjoyed was "Faithful" by Stewart O'Nan and Stephan King. It was great because they had actually written it throughout the season, with no idea the sox would go all the way. They are also both diehard fans that live in New England so you could tell that they really knew what it was all about. It was so much fun to read, remembering all the games and the ups and downs of the season, but also with the little personal things that I think only people of Red Sox Nation would understand.

I also read Johnny's book Idiot (of coarse) but wasn't really impressed. It was really cool to see how he looks at the game and hear some of the clubhouse stories, but I think it would have been better if he just stuck to that. He would have been smarter not to include all the stuff about his personal life. But I did like it....even if he didn't really write it himself....lol (it's not that he wasn't smart enough, he just didn't have the time! Laughing) I still love the guy.....and always will. Very Happy

A book that I want to read (might not have time until next summer with the pace that things have been going) is "The Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship" I saw it in Borders last month and was going to buy it, but unfortunatly I had to put my money towards summer reading. Sad It's a story abou the friendship of Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio and Bobby Doerr, throughout their days as Sox and the rest of their lives. Has anyone read/heard of it??? Any good??
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DianaPrince
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soxy..

Faithful came out in paperback and Idiot is out in paperback in like 2 weeks. We have The Teammates at our store and for a good while it was displayed with other baseball books. But sadly it is now a football display Crying or Very sad
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Sandi
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan's Soul is pretty good. I don't actually own this one, and I haven't even read the whole thing. My friend Dean brought a copy along with us two years ago as we were traveling to Fenway and Yankee Stadium. She let me read it on our train ride between the two cities.
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Francine
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PostPosted: Fri 9/2/05 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own the Chicken soup book too, it's great. I also liked "Idiot" by Johnny Damon. Jose Canseco's book flat out stunk.............enough said.

I'm gonna throw out two fictional books I enjoyed. Wild Pitch is an amazing story of a retired pitcher who tries to make a come back. and Words of the Pitcher is a love story about a Japanese player and his interpetur. I loved both!

I'm also currently reading "going the other way", the book written by Billy Bean, the first openly gay major league player.......it's prety good so far.
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teks tangibles
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PostPosted: Sat 9/3/05 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to recommend "The Teammates" as well. Halberstam is an excellent writer. I thought Johnny's book was awful....as was Canseco's, but I took both out of the library so no harm there.

As for the female clothing hazing, last year the Red Sox made Kevin Youkilis and Lenny DiNardo wear Hooters outfits going through customs into Canada when they were going to Toronto.

I just took "Ball Four" out of the library. I read it so many years ago that I thought it might be a good reread. Older...different perspective. Just starting it.

Ruth
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Sat 9/3/05 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Jose Canseco's book flat out stunk.............enough said.


Huh??? Am I imagining things, Francine--I thought you said on the old board it was pretty good?

Quote:
I'm also currently reading "going the other way", the book written by Billy Bean, the first openly gay major league player.......it's prety good so far.


I've read excerpts in the L.A. Times when it was a new book, but never the entire book. He played for both the Dodgers and the Padres.

Quote:
I just took "Ball Four" out of the library. I read it so many years ago that I thought it might be a good reread. Older...different perspective. Just starting it.


Right, TT...I should have included that on my list. I read it in high school, I think. I think it was probably the best one written by a player. And I would think it would give a completely different perspective later on. Certain aspects of baseball have changed so much over the years.

I own "Teammates" but have never actually finished it.

It sounds like you're like me and really appreciate good writing.
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"The Dodgers have always occupied an enormous place in the history of the game. If the Yankees are the most successful team in baseball history, the Dodgers are the most essential. Their legacy is unique."

-Baseball Hall of Fame


Last edited by dodgerblue6 on Sat 9/3/05 5:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Francine
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PostPosted: Sat 9/3/05 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda, I don't remember saying it was "good", maybe as in it was intersting with the name calling and the parts about his wife and family but I do remember saying all he did was teach us how to use steroids correctly and talk about himslef alot.............I really didn't "like" it. I'm glad I read it due to the recent events.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sat 9/3/05 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay--maybe you did use "interesting" or some such adjective. Smile
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soxygirl18
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PostPosted: Sat 9/3/05 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I was going to recommend "The Teammates" as well

Oh good!! I'll have to put that on my list of things to read. Very Happy


Quote:
As for the female clothing hazing, last year the Red Sox made Kevin Youkilis and Lenny DiNardo wear Hooters outfits going through customs into Canada when they were going to Toronto

And I love that flowery backpack that Papelbon has to bring out to the bullpen every game. Laughing
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CgrGrl
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PostPosted: Sun 9/4/05 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course my favorite baseball book has to be "Smart Baseball" written by Buddy Bell and it has tons of quotes from his three sons. Very Happy

I have two "Tales from the Dugout" books and they are OK, but I wanted more personal stuff. It seems that if you read enough sports pages, you would get that stuff anyway.

I've read "Ball Four," but I believe that if you are going to do it, go all the way and get "The Final Pitch" version.
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teks tangibles
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PostPosted: Sun 9/4/05 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to give an honorable mention to Jerry Remy's "Watching Baseball", since I am a very frequent contributor to theremyreport.com board. It's more technical than fun and not real exciting, but what the book does do is explain how to "watch" a baseball game. He goes through the various positions and talks about how to play in different situations. It gives an analytical eye to the game from a former player.

Ruth
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PhilsPhan
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PostPosted: Tue 9/6/05 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy the biographies and the humor books. I recommend Pete Rose's My Prison Without Bars and Tug McGraw's biography. Jay Johnstone (an old-time fave of mine) also has two very funny books. But I would say my favorite baseball book was Moneyball. I really enjoyed reading about the "behind-the-scenes" of baseball. So much interesting stuff that I, and I'm sure most people, know about.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 9/6/05 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, remember that discussion you and Padregrrl were having about it last year? If I remember she was recommending that one even before I read it. It was a very interesting read. Thanks for reminding me.
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crzblue



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PostPosted: Wed 9/7/05 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favorites are some of the same ones from Linda like The Boys of Summer, A lefty Legacy, and Wait till Next Year. I think some of you might like checking out "Wait till Next Year" . Doris Kearns Goodwin writes about herself living in the 50's. how she would keep score and wait with anticipation for her father to get home so she would give him a play by play of the game not knowing there were box scores in the newspaper.. Also her friendly rivalry with Giant and Yankee fans in the neighborhood stores during the 50's. One of the many parts I like in the book is when she gives a Christopher medal to the slumping Gil Hodges, who accepts and tells her how he had one just like it growing up but gave it to his coal miner father to protect him. She talks about the Dodgers finally winning in 1955, of her mother's long-time illness and about the departure of the Dodgers and Giants. Without a team to root she started distancing from baseball and then here is an insert from her book:

"Then, one September day, having settled in Massachusetts while getting my Ph.D. at Harvard, I agreed, half reluctantly, to go to Fenway Park. There it was again; the cozy ball field scaled to human dimensions so that every word of encouragement and every scornful yell could be heard on the field; the fervent crowd that could, with equal passion, curse a player for today's failures after cheering his heroics the day before; the team that always seemed to break your heart in the last weeks of the season. It was love at first sight as I found myself directing all my old intensities toward my new team — the Boston Red Sox."
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Wed 9/7/05 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She had to wait about as long for a championship with them as she did with the Dodgers. Razz

I think the Brooklyn fans had a lot in common with the Boston fans. Smile
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crzblue



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PostPosted: Mon 11/21/05 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PhilsPhan wrote:
I enjoy the biographies and the humor books. I recommend Pete Rose's My Prison Without Bars and Tug McGraw's biography. Jay Johnstone (an old-time fave of mine) also has two very funny books. But I would say my favorite baseball book was Moneyball. I really enjoyed reading about the "behind-the-scenes" of baseball. So much interesting stuff that I, and I'm sure most people, know about.


As I mentioned before I belong a book club where every Monday they email you a 5-minute portion of a new book so by Friday you have read 2 or 3 chapters so you can decide if you want to continue reading it. Is up to you to go to a library or a bookstore to buy it so there are no strings attached. To my surprise the non-fiction book for this week is "My Prison without Bars"

As I posted on the movie thread Sunday I happen to watch "Hustle" so this book came at the right time.

If you want to check the book club go here http://www.supportlibrary.com/su/su.cfm?x=191844

In addition to the non-fiction, there is fiction, romance, teen, mistery, horror, business, good news. I have not check any of the other but the non-fiction. Many times I do not have time to read all the emails so I end up deleting a lot of them but at least I check what book they are featuring.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 11/22/05 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good report, Crz. I'm currently finishing up two books that I've been reading concurrently, which I will be reporting on this weekend as I expect to have both finished.
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crzblue



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PostPosted: Tue 11/22/05 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dodgerblue6 wrote:
Good report, Crz. I'm currently finishing up two books that I've been reading concurrently, which I will be reporting on this weekend as I expect to have both finished.


I also have that habit of starting two books at the same time. I just finished "Tales from the Dodger Dugout" by Carl Erskine.. Oisk as he was baptised by the Brooklyn fans is one of my many favorite oldtimers.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 11/22/05 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had the "Oisk" version for a few years, but still need to get the Tommy Davis edition of "Tales."

I will be riding as a passenger on our family trip to my uncle's house in Palm Springs for Thanksgiving (thank God for designated drivers! Smile ), so will have a little time to finish reading.
Very Happy
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Francine
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PostPosted: Wed 12/14/05 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to bring this thread back up to the top because winter is upon us and a good time to catch up on reading while at the gym,on the treadmill, trying to keep up with our resolutions,lol

Red Sox girls, Wild Pitch is an excellent book. I still have to finish Billy Bean's "Going the Other Way".

Any new reads?
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crzblue



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PostPosted: Wed 12/14/05 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to look for the following book"
The Brooklyn Dodger by Donald Honig.

DB: You probably have read it, right?
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 12/15/05 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not only have I not read it, I'm not sure I've even heard of it. It sounds like such a generic name I am going to look into it, though, to learn about the scope of the book. The author's name is not familiar to me.
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teks tangibles
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PostPosted: Thu 12/15/05 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Francine -

I read the Billy Beane book, after you mentioned it to me...quite a while ago. It's so strange that I did not even know that a player came out as gay. Too bad, too...he's gorgeous!!!

I am currently reading a fascinating book..."Juicing the Game" by Howard Bryant. It's main point is to talk about steroids from all sides of the issue, owners, players, fans, media...but he also goes into a lot of history, especially between the Commissioner's office/owners/players and that is truly fascinating stuff. I actually almost feel a bit bad for Bud (or as we sometimes call him "Dud") Selig. It just seems like every tiime he does anything a bit right that something else goes wrong and overshadows what he's done. Case in point...the World baseball games. Looked to be a really great concept and he was involved in that whole thing..and now...there is all this controversy about the Treasury Dept not issuing permits because of the Cuban team. Poor Bud...can't catch a break.

I haven't finished the book...but I recommend it highly. It's quite a good read.

Another book that I read recently was the Bill Simmons book, "Now I can Die in Peace"...etc, etc. I hated the fact that he had all these footnotes in the margins which were extremely hard on my 49 year old eyes. If you see the book, pick it up and look and you'll see what I mean. He is a really funny, entertaining writer....but of course, the content is Red Sox so for me that made it quite a good read. Read a few of his columns on ESPN page 2 (no subscription necessary as with Insider) and you can get a feel for his humor.

Ruth
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