Monday, September 14, 2009

Hiatus over - Browsing my library again

I'm done with my pity party. Things aren't going like I planned. Oh well. If there's anything exciting to report on my personal life, maybe I'll make mention of it. No sense in me not doing what I do most of the time with this blog anyway - write about books!

Decided to randomly generate a book from my library and came up with an excellent choice. Dick McBane's Glory Days: The Akron Yankees of the Middle Atlantic League 1935-1941.

This book epitomizes what my library strives to be. McBane's book was published by the Summit County Historical Society Press. As such, it doesn't likely have a very large print run. It does not show in the Baseball Hall of Fame's catalog. As a matter of fact, only seven libraries show it in WorldCat. Three universities in Ohio, two public libraries in Ohio, a historical society in Ohio and the Library of Congress.

Especially when it comes to the minor leagues, I try to obtain regional publications that are hopefully of high quality. They tend to be small print runs because of interest being regionally limited (witnessed by the fact that the LOC is the only non-Ohio library carrying it). I love these books because they are a work of passion. They aren't always good. They aren't always exciting. But it interested the author enough to delve into it. McBane's book is both good and exciting.

One of the things that sets this book apart is the citations. McBane does an excellent job referencing his sources. The narrative is well done, too - something that is often lacking in tomes of this nature. Concise, the text only runs 74 pages and then has boxscores, statistics and an index for the remaining thirty pages. It looks nice, has good photos, a nice stat section. It's really a great book all around and an excellent book for anyone interested in the minors.

Amazingly, in seven years of play, 44 members of the Akron Yankees played in the majors. Walt Judnich, Frank Kelleher, Karl Drews, Mel Queen, Steve Souchock and Gus Niarhos are a few of the more notable members of the Akron squads.

McBane also wrote a book on Akron's 1881 team which was published by McFarland. I continue to hunt for a reasonably priced copy of that one.