It is March and the new
baseball season is just over the horizon.
Like spring bulbs popping up, an avalanche
of worthwhile sporting reads crowd the
shelves of bookstores and also my desk, the
floor around it, and every nearby surface.
Priced just right by Sterling Publishers
,($29.98), 512 jam packed pages long and all
in color, over-sized and hard to lift -
-"Big League Ballparks" by Gary Gilette and
Eric Enders with Stuart Shea and Matthew
Silverman is a grand slam home run of a
Complete, compelling, class this is a
terrific tome that in words, stats and
pictures showcases and gives mini-histories
of each major league ballpark. As the author
of REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM and the
forthcoming CELEBRATING FENWAY PARK, I know
my way around the subject. So do the authors
who should have asked me for a blurb.
"Fifty-Nine in '84" by Edward Achorn
(Harper, $25.99, 384 pages) is a work that
starkly contrasts with "Big League
Ballparks" but is no less worthy of a place
on your sports bookshelf. Achorn brings back
as the book's sub-title proclaims:"Old Hoss
Radbourn, Barehanded Baseball and the
Greatest Season a Pitcher Ever Had." We are
there in 1884 in a world of baseball and a
world very different from today the game
played without a fielder's glove with a hard
ball by some very hard guys.
"Baseball Prospectus 2010" edited by Steven
Goldman and Christina Kahl (Wiley, $25.95,
306 pages, paper) has everything most would
want to know about the upcoming season -
essays, commentary on all the teams,
managers, players one of extraordinary
interest is on Albert Pujols "Can he be
this awesome forever?" A mother lode of
From Lyons Press comes the paperback
"Baseball's Ultimate Power by Bill Jenkinson
($17.95, 335 pages) which ranks the all-time
greatest distance home run hitters. Players
photos and aerial ballpark images complement
the author's text as he ruminates and
estimates and evaluates "tape measure home
runs" and other big bops.
"Born to Run" by Christopher
McDougall (Knopf, $24.95, 287 pages) is a
fascinating book focused on so many obsessed
and enriched by the running game.
Superathletes, a hidden tribe and the
greatest race the world has never seen are
just a few of the amazing components of this
highly readable book by the author who does
his own running among the Amish farms around
his home in rural Pennsylvania.
MOST NOTABLE: What an idea
from Dover Publications, often referred to
as "The Little Book Publisher That Could."
This preservationist publisher seeks out
titles that are often out-of-print and
publishes them with very affordable prices
in beautifully produced paperbacks. (More
Upcoming: In June May - - "Reggie Jackson"
by Dayn Perry (William Morrow)