"I Live for This!:
Baseball's Last True Believer," and other reads for March 2008.
It was way back in 1975 when I was at Dodger
Stadium in Los Angeles interviewing for my first book "A
Baseball Century." I was a rookie at the game and boldly on the
field started to approach the relief pitcher Mike Marshall. His
back was towards me; nevertheless, he started screaming
profanities threatening me with bodily harm if I came a step
Suddenly, I felt a tug from behind and a soothing voice:" Stay
away from him, he's a nut job. Interview me instead."
I did. That was my first of several meetings with terrific and
affable Tom Lasorda.
We flash forward to 2007. I contacted his agent requesting
access to the man who forever "bleeds Dodger blue." I wanted to
interview him for my then work in progress -REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM, knowing full well of Lasorda's many battles at "the
House That Ruth Built." It seemed a simple enough request on my
However, I was denied access by his publisher Houghton Mifflin.
It seemed that he was writing his own book and they were fearful
that the few paragraphs of memories he might yield up to me
would diminish his tome.
Oh, well. I've been there before and probably will again having
to deal with silliness. My book was completed with almost a
hundred unique voices telling their stories. His was also
Tommy Lasorda's book "I Live for This!: Baseball's Last True
Believer," with the LA Times sports writer Bill Plaschke
(Houghton Mifflin) is an outspoken and at the same time
nostalgic romp through his considerable baseball years. His
unhappiness that it took so long to get voted into the Hall of
Fame, his unhappiness being relegated to the sidelines after his
managing career for the Dodgers ended, his old school ranting
about the lack of manners he sees as part of the culture, are
just several pieces of subject matter.
There are hits runs and errors in this book. There is also Tom
Lasorda coming to life - warts and all.
Also from Houghton comes "The Cubs" with text by
Glenn Stout ($40.00, 460 pages) a mother lode of facts,
factoids, insights and anecdotes about all things Chicago Cubs
"The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2008"
($19.95, 356 pages) contains all one probably would ever want to
know about the 2007 baseball season including post-season
playoffs and World Series action. Especially interesting are the
detailed team statistics and graphs.
"The Ball is Round" by David Goldblatt (Riverhead
Books, $24.00, 974 pages) is a Niagara of info on the world's
greatest game, the one multi-millions watch. Goldblatt has truly
served up a treat and a treatise on the "beautiful game."