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  • Books Never Written

    I'm curious if there are any interesting players that have never had a book written about them. Or, one done so badly he needs to be re-examined.
    "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

  • #2
    I don't know about players specifically, but I can think of books about certain teams/eras that could use a new book by now.

    1-The late 80s Mets. Far too many books written about this team try to suggest that the reason why they only won one championship is because Frank Cashen ruined the team "chemistry" by trading Kevin Mitchell for Kevin McReynolds and didn't keep Ray Knight. There needs to be a broader focus on the Davey Johnson era as a whole to 1990 (the last year they contended with this group) and note how the team underachieved thanks to reasons that had nothing to do with "chemistry" and everything to do with things like drug use and also peculiar things like Johnson not bringing in his closer in Game 4 of the 88 NLCS.

    2-The Joe Torre Yankees. I want an overview of this dynasty that takes a positive tone. The Olney book was a "decline and fall" book that isn't fun reading and the Torre/Verducci book is two-thirds devoted to 2002 onward it seems. Yankee fans deserve to see an overview of this period that is positive and celebrates the success with the 98 Yankees perhaps the greatest team of them all. If we're going to get a book on the team's struggles then do it so it culminates in the story of 2009 and the final championship of the Core Four.

    3-The late 70s Yankees. Let's see one that dials back the obsession with Billy-Reggie-George and focuses more on the *games* and the other parts of the team that were put together? Everytime I see a new book about this period I always get deja vu because inevitably the author just repeats something written in an earlier book and hasn't gone after the subject from a new angle. Less soap opera more GAME please!

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    • #3
      The baseball biography which I would most love to see is that of a living ballplayer. Most biographies of recent vintage have been of players who have been long gone. A few living bios exist... Reggie, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, and something close to a bio on Pete Rose in the past few years.

      So, something has to justify the reason for a living bio. George Brett qualifies, IMHO.

      He stated in an interview with a KC TV sports anchor that he would marry once he retired. This was a relevant point in the heartland, since marriage and family life carry more weight in the KC TV broadcast region than in most of the country. George carried out his promise to the letter, and bore his first son within 9 or 10 months, naming him Jackson if I remember correctly (after Reggie).

      During his playing days, he was generally known as somewhat of a prime catch, most-sought bachelor, and he might have had several girlfriends. I honestly don't know if the girl he married had been his longterm GF, or if he had several. I do remember that he did an oft-broadcast soap commercial which featured his current GF around 1979-1981. This was during his epic 1980 season, at least.

      George was visible, he was the ideal for both boys and girls, men and women of all ages, on or off the field. I know of several girls who weren't even baseball fans who wanted to know more about him. He was to the Midwest what Mickey Mantle had been to the East Coast and most of the country in his prime. He was just about the role model for Sam Malone from Cheers, except that George also performed well on the field and George was also not an airhead male stereotype.

      I would hope that George would authorize the bio, but sometimes an unauthorized bio is better.
      Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

      A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

      Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.

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      • #4
        I would read a book about the futility of either the Pirates or the Royals from the mid 90's until the early part of this decade. Preferably, I would like the writer to take a serious approach, research and give the true backstory about why the teams became so futile, while mixing in a few humorous tales.

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        • #5
          There was a recent book about that period of Pirates history just last year.

          https://www.amazon.com/Slide-Leyland...sburgh+Pirates

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          • #6
            Originally posted by abolishthedh View Post
            I would hope that George would authorize the bio, but sometimes an unauthorized bio is better.
            As a historian who reads a lot of biographies, this is nearly universally true. Few protagonists can avoid self-promotion and too often the author of an independent "authorized" biography is, himself, enamored with the subject. The "authorized" biographies of recent presidents (and presidential candidates), as just one example, have been hugely disappointing relative to other works on their lives and legacies.
            "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
            "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
            "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
            "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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            • #7
              Anyone ever read THE SONS OF SUMMER ? I just finished it. Wondering if anyone here checked it out. Was ... addicting, to tell you the truth. Had this feel to it like Friday Night Lights but a more emotional and in depth. One of my favorite books ever was THE ART OF FIELDING but after reading this, I think I have my #1. Anyone check this out? Would love to discuss!

              cover image.jpg

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              • #8
                Originally posted by epaddon View Post
                There was a recent book about that period of Pirates history just last year.

                https://www.amazon.com/Slide-Leyland...sburgh+Pirates
                Thank you for the recommendation. I just read this book. The authors, Richard and Stephen Pederson, are Pirate fans that do a good job of being objective. The first two thirds of this book is good as it details the 1990-1992 Pirates teams and their inability to get to the World Series, culminating with Bream's slide in Game 7. Bonds, Leyland, Van Slyke and, to a lesser extent, Bonilla, are the central characters. While I am knowledgeable about this era of the Pirates, this was still an enjoyable part to read.

                The last third of this book leaves something to be desired. The authors should have gone more in depth on the 1993-2013 Pirates as they did to the early 1990's teams. The failures of Al Martin, Kevin Young and other Pirate prospects who never panned out are not discussed. The Cam Bonifay era of blunders does get a few mentions, but mostly in passing. Kevin McClathy is covered somewhat in depth when he bought the team, but is hardly mentioned again. One sentence is devoted to Jason Kendall's career altering, ankle injury before moving on to the next subject.

                Overall, an okay book if you were a fan of those early 1990's teams.
                Last edited by Steve Jeltz; 04-11-2018, 08:56 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd like to see a definitive book on the 1994-95 strike. If there is one already, I've never come across it.
                  They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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                  • #10
                    Is there a book that covers the Yankees period from 1965-1975? There was a book written after the 1965 season, I believe, but I never came across one that covers this whole period.

                    Another good Yankee book would be one from 1982-1995. The departure of Jackson, the arrival if Mattingly, the fall of the Yanks coinciding with the rise of the Mets and, of course, George Steinbrenner.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve Jeltz View Post
                      Is there a book that covers the Yankees period from 1965-1975? There was a book written after the 1965 season, I believe, but I never came across one that covers this whole period.

                      Another good Yankee book would be one from 1982-1995. The departure of Jackson, the arrival if Mattingly, the fall of the Yanks coinciding with the rise of the Mets and, of course, George Steinbrenner.
                      I think this book dates from the early 1980s. It's similar in style to Dynasty.

                      https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Days-Yank...kees+1964-1976

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Steve Jeltz View Post
                        Is there a book that covers the Yankees period from 1965-1975? There was a book written after the 1965 season, I believe, but I never came across one that covers this whole period.

                        Another good Yankee book would be one from 1982-1995. The departure of Jackson, the arrival if Mattingly, the fall of the Yanks coinciding with the rise of the Mets and, of course, George Steinbrenner.
                        Damned Yankees is your best option for that era. https://www.amazon.com/Damned-Yankee...n+steinbrenner
                        ..."I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for."

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                        • #13
                          There is a rather crude oral history book about the 80s Yankees. https://www.amazon.com/Just-Out-Reac...rds=Greg+Prato There's good "raw" material in it but the author doesn't do a good job of synthesizing the material properly I felt.

                          "Damned Yankees" has one key flaw, and that's the fact it's badly out of date. It was written in 1990 as an "instant history" about the 80s culminating with Steinbrenner's banning and as a result we're only getting half the story of the era. Klein and Madden were writing it from the perspective that the Yankees would never win again etc. and that the final verdict on Steinbrenner was horrible. A true overview of this period should cover the team up to the time of Torre's hiring.

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                          • #14
                            Unless I missed it, I find it hard to believe there isn't a biography on Frank Navin.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I’m surprised there hasn’t been a biography on Chick Stahl and his suicide.

                              Comment

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