Spring Baseball Books
Part I: Baseball Prospectus 2009, Diamond Gems, Baseball
Dictionary, The Big Field
With spring training underway another sure
sign that the 2009 baseball season will soon be with us is
the deluge of new books focused on all manner of different
facets of the national pastime. There is something out there
for every taste, every budget.
"Baseball Prospectus 2009" is a mother and
father lode of information for even the most crazed of stat
guys. Now in its 14th season, this oversized paperback
(Plume Original, $21.95, 628 pages) presents a Hall of Fame
group of analysts analyzing all kinds of things connected to
the summer game. Sagacious, smart, this book belongs on the
top of your baseball buy list.
"Diamond Gems" edited by Tim McCarver with
Jim Moskovitz and Danny Peary (McGraw Hill, $24.95, 270
pages is essentially a book that was more than decade in the
making and includes a vault of material from "The Tim
McCarver Show." There is Willie Mays on "the Catch," Yogi
Berra on war and baseball, Sandy Koufax on his quest to add
a third pitch. It is neatly organized by position - the
"lefties" for example - contains Warren Spahn, Whitey Ford,
Sandy Koufax, Jim Kaat, Tom Glavine and Al Leiter - thinkers
all. "Diamond Gems" is a gem of a baseball book.
"Baseball Dictionary" in a new life -
revised and expanded by Paul Dickson weighs in at 974 pages
and a hefty fifty dollar price tag from WW Norton. One
quibble I do have is that two of my books "Sports Lingo" and
"Sports Roots" are in the annotated bibliography. But
Dickson sadly missed out on my terrific tome - THE SPORTS
JUNKIES BOOK OF TRIVIA, TERMS, AND LINGO" --What They Are,
Where They Came From, and How They Are Used. Otherwise, this
is deep, definitive, daunting - a thesaurus of all things
Now in paperback reprint is Mike Lupica's
"The Big Field" (Plume, 272 pages, $7.99) recommended for
ages 10 and up - the story of Keith "Hutch" Hutchinson and
his relationship with father, a former boy phenomenon.
HIGHLY NOTABLE: "High and Inside: My Life in
the Front offices of Baseball" by Lou Gorman (McFarland,
226 pages) is to be up close and personal with a man who has
spent almost a half century in pro baseball and who is now
an executive consultant for the Boston Red Sox. This is a
man who drafted Roger Clemens, signed George Brett ,
developed Jim Palmer. This is a man who knows his way around
a story and can tell it in detail, with humor and insight.
"High and Inside" is a work that belongs on the bookshelf of
every baseball fan - there's a lot to learn from an expert
on the national pastime.