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What do you want to read about in a biography?

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  • What do you want to read about in a biography?

    how important are nonbaseball topics to you in reading a biography of a baseball figure?

    how much do you want to know about his family? do you care if he was a mason or a religious person, etc.?

    on the baseball end:

    do you want page after page of game results and play-by-play?

    i 'm reading a bio now about tris speaker that spends a full page on babe ruth being thrown out to end the 1926 world series which has absolutely nothing to to with speaker

    any thoughts?

  • #2
    I like reading interesting anecdotes about anything that concerns a certain player. Whether it be from childhood, minor league ball, or in retirement. I get bored if it's just filled with numbers, numbers, and more numbers. I want to hear the story of the player's life, not just how he spent 8 hours a day for 20 years.
    A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

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    • #3
      i agree - can't stand constant play by play - that's why i enjoy reading about men who did more than just play the sport - managers and executives offer more interesting material at times

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      • #4
        You're referring to Gay's book?

        I haven't read it yet and probably won't until I get back to Canada, but my guess is he had a hard time filling the book with Speaker's biographical information, so he copped out, filling its pages with fluff.

        I like to know anything that might help explain the player. To a certain extent, I don't care about any one player's on field play unless I'm reading a team biography or a franchise history.

        I want to know what made Speaker tick. I know he was one of the greatest players of the Dead Ball era. I can read about that anywhere.

        How much of the book deals with his father's death and how it drove him on the playing field, Brian?

        I know he really withdrew into himself.

        Does the book look at those aspects of his life?
        "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
        Carl Yastrzemski

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        • #5
          Have you read Lou Gehrig's biography by Jonathan Eig? I haven't yet, just wondering what others thought.
          A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

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          • #6
            gehrig bio

            I finished it a few months ago. It is fantastic. Especially in that the author had original source material, namely handwritten letters from the participants, which really brought things alive. You really got a glimpse into his issues vis a vi false hope and how he was given a generous dose of it by some of his doctors -even when he was asking for the straight scoop.
            The author was also able to put the medical issues in perspective with input from current experts in the field of ALS that could give you a glimpse into the hell he was going through. It makes the year before he retired, 1938, probably one of the most impressive years given the state of his health.
            The author also brought in more detail as to his spouse. Also little things like the type of house he lived in which was particularly hard on someone in his condition (numerous stairs) and the agony he went through.
            Johnny
            Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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            • #7
              Originally posted by runningshoes53

              IHow much of the book deals with his father's death and how it drove him on the playing field, Brian?

              I know he really withdrew into himself.

              Does the book look at those aspects of his life?
              tris was 9 or 10 when his father died in 1898 - you might be thinking of cobb

              the book is not bad - i've enjoyed it - gives good baseball info
              Last edited by Brian McKenna; 01-16-2006, 03:12 PM.

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              • #8
                why did gehrig keep working after he fell ill - he didn't need the money

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                • #9
                  He was 10 when his father died.

                  I'm guessing there's not much in the book about how that could have affected his development
                  as a teenager and then a young man. I know from an early age, he excelled, aggressivel, in both football and baseball and I'm wondering how the death played a part in his development as an athlete and a person.
                  Last edited by runningshoes; 01-16-2006, 03:15 PM.
                  "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                  Carl Yastrzemski

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by runningshoes53
                    He was 10 when his father died.

                    I'm guessing there's not much in the book about how that could have affected his development as a teenager and then a young man.
                    not really - in fact his father is introduced - dies and is not referred to until speaker's burial in the same cemetery

                    yeah - i've been researching clark griffith lately - his father was killed (mistook for a deer) when he was 2 in 1871 - good luck finding and tangible info on that
                    Last edited by Brian McKenna; 01-16-2006, 03:20 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I know his father and uncle were both confederate soldiers. Maybe he was a chip off the old block. I know he became a loner after his father's death. Maybe the info is just not there.
                      "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                      Carl Yastrzemski

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                      • #12
                        speakers two uncles byron and james joined the confederacy but speakers father a.o. wasn't born until 1852

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by runningshoes53
                          I'm doubting you, but I would like to see the original source of that date.
                          Sorry, Brian. I meant I'm not doubting you.
                          Last edited by runningshoes; 01-16-2006, 11:38 PM.
                          "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                          Carl Yastrzemski

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                          • #14
                            yeah - that's in gay's book and it's not that hard to find - so i would believe gay's date is probably correct

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                            • #15
                              troy - you have access to census records with sabr - i just did a quick check and found the 1860 census for the family of henry speaker in texas - he lists his son archery as 9 years old

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