Thursday, June 23, 2011

Elysian Fields Forever


Summer is baseball and since there are some sports fans here I thought it would be fun to compile a Top Ten booklist of favorite baseball books -- history or fiction.  Ask Men has compiled this dubious list, although it has a handful of gems like Ball Four and The Natural.  I really liked the book on Satchel Paige I read a few years back, Don't Look Back.  What are your thoughts?

9 comments:

  1. WHAT A SUBJECT!!!

    There are so many things I can say about this and just don't know where to begin. But if I'm going to start with one book about baseball and its role in society, let me begin by recommending Noel Sainsbury, Jr's novel ''Cracker Stanton'' [1934]. I still have an original copy and it is in mint condition.

    http://www.barnabyrudge.com/photos/020010.jpg

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  2. I thought it would be fun to do something like this. I don't know that one. Will have to check it out. Moneyball was good. It was all about how Billy Beane built the A's on a tight budget. A lot of good insights into how to pick players. The Boys of Summer is one of my favorites,

    http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Boys_of_Summer.html?id=_wkBRSgQjxkC

    The Era was good too.

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  3. Paul Hemphill's novel, Long Gone, which was later made into an HBO movie, is a good read. It is based in part on his experiences playing minor league and semi-pro baseball.

    Hemphill and I lived in the same Atlanta neighborhood for years. He was a working journalist and also wrote a number of excellent books. Outside the south, however, I suspect he is little known.

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  4. ONLY THE BALL WAS WHITE - another baseball gem:

    http://www.amazon.com/Only-Ball-Was-White-Professional/dp/0195076370

    I have a copy that was signed by legendary Ted 'Double Duty' Radcliffe and by Lester Lockett. Needless to say, I treasure that book.

    Double Duty lived to be 102 and only passed away about 3 years ago. He was a very close friend of catcher Josh Gibson. Josh was a friend of my dad who was a noted semi-pro pitcher in Puerto Rico during the 1930s. When I was a little kid I remember guys stepping up to my dad and congratulating him as his career. He was quite modest about his achievements on the ballfield.

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  5. It just wouldn't be Brooklyn, NY without good old Rhubarb the Wonder cat:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VZtlQ2mvaQ

    Very funny movie - they just don't make them like they used to.

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  6. original recording of ''Casey At the Bat'':

    http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/recordings/detail/id/1097

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  7. bosox posting,My favorite baseball book is one from around 1990 called Stolen Season by David Lamb.He was a forgein affairs writer for the LA Times who spent a summer traveling around the country to minor league parks mostly old timey ones.As onereview on Amazon says it's sort of A Travels with Charly about minor league baseball.Another more recent one is The Last Best League by Jim Collins about the summer Cape Cod League where players may live with local families.Loved going to Cape League games my summers on the Cape.Next is a mutli generational non fiction book on family and the Red Sox called The Progress of the Seasons by George Higgins the Red Sox but it's from 89 so the angst is still there and since I'm a Peter Gammons fan I'll include Beyond the Sixth Game.Also anything baseball by Roger Angell.

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  8. I have "Only the Ball Was White" but haven't read it yet. I spent one summer helping to document historic structures in Birmingham, AL, and one of the structures was the old Rickwood baseball field. I stood out on the pitcher's mound with a transit and created a level line all the way around the stadium so that we could take height, and geometrically lay out the park. I became fascinated by the dichotomy between white and black baseball leagues. In Birmingham, it was literally the White and the Black Barons. Some pretty famous names passed through Birmingham, including Satchel Paige.

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  9. One of the more unusual baseball movies, Comrades of Summer (1992), baseball in the former Soviet Union,

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103997/

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