Sunday, December 30, 2012

The return of baseball book club

Unfortunately, my extended absence from this blog left us unable to discuss Timothy Gay's Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Robert. I did hear from some folks who read it and no one, myself included, seemed particularly dazzled by it.

I have also since heard from some folks who would like to see baseball book club continue. Given my plan to read more baseball books, it seems like a no-brainer to go ahead and continue and give a place for people to voice their opinions about some baseball books (and/or inspire them to read some baseball books they normally wouldn't).

The biggest problems seemed to be deciding what books to read and then figuring out how much time to give everybody to read them. I think I have solutions.

First, I have an idea of some books I want to read. Many of them are about early baseball (pre-1920). The one I am reading right now is the massive first volume of Norman Macht's biographies on Connie Mack. I'm about 200 pages in of the 700 pages. If anyone wants to try and join in, you are certainly welcome to do so (I am enjoying it). Given the size, though, it doesn't seem like a good pick to try and get multiple people to read.

But not everyone is going to want to read about early baseball and I wouldn't mind reading about other aspects of baseball (I intend to, but I think some of the books on early baseball I want to read would make good book club books). My proposal is to have two books a month for baseball book club, one I want to read and one that comes from suggestions from you. I'll post six months of selections so people can pick and choose as they please based on their interest and time commitment. Here are the early baseball books I intend to read:

January: Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball by Norman Macht
February: The Pitch that Killed by Mike Sowell
March: A Game of Brawl by Bill Felber
April: Baseball Before We Knew It by David Block
May: Spalding's World Tour by Mark Lamster
June: Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof

If you know you want to read Eight Men Out, you have plenty of time to prepare for it. All these books should be easily and cheaply attainable, perhaps even free from your local library.

How about other suggestions to complement these? People mentioned Posnanski's books before. I still want to read Jonah Keri's book on the Tampa Rays. There have been some well-regarded mainstream biographies recently on Mays and Mantle. There's the usual fare from McFarland Press (although they don't come cheaply). What baseball books would you like us to read?

1 comment:

mr haverkamp said...

Hope we do start it up's the next 6 bb books I had on my list: Clemente (David Maraniss), Pitch that Killed (Sowell), Last Boy/Mantle (Leavy), The Era (Kahn), Odd Man Out (McCarthy), and 8 Men Out. Glad that 2 of them are on yours!