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Base Ball : A Journal of the Early Game

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  • Base Ball : A Journal of the Early Game

    http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/baseballback.html

    Is anybody familiar with this journal? Is it worth the subscription?

    Comes out twice a year. $40 for an individual subscription. Back issues are $75!

  • #2
    Originally posted by dgarza View Post
    http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/baseballback.html

    Is anybody familiar with this journal? Is it worth the subscription?

    Comes out twice a year. $40 for an individual subscription. Back issues are $75!
    John Thorn is the editor so I'm guessing it's good. I have most of his books and all of them are excellent. But it's another Mcfarland book. I've actually written to Mcfarland and complained about their high prices. They just gave me a company line about costs and such. There are dozens of books that Mcfarland has published that I'm interested in but I just can't afford those prices. I've gotten a few of their books at the library and about half their books are good and half are so-so. I'm not going to take a chance on a book that might or might not be good for a $30 price tag plus $4 shipping. I check amazon for used books and sometimes you can get one much cheaper but usually the used Mcfarland books are $30 too. I'd much rather buy 4 or 5 other books used for the same price. I was interested in these books from the first time I saw the ads for them but I wont pay that much, it's just ridiculous.

    Scott
    Last edited by steve rogers; 05-09-2008, 11:39 AM.
    I told you not to be stupid you moron.

    Comment


    • #3
      McFarland is definitely a publisher where quantity outstrips quality in many instances. That isn't to say they are not a decent press; there are some very good books, by very good writers, published by McFarland.

      They fill a big niche beneath the big popular presses and choosier academic presses, and they're certainly better than vanity publishers and small, second-rate presses, but the problem becomes that you really don't always get what you pay for. Sometimes you fork over the money and get a real gem of a baseball book. Other times, if you aren't careful, you may get a narrowly or shoddily researched, hackneyed, dud.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by steve rogers View Post
        John Thorn is the editor so I'm guessing it's good. I have most of his books and all of them are excellent. But it's another Mcfarland book. I've actually written to Mcfarland and complained about their high prices. They just gave me a company line about costs and such.
        Are Thorn's or McFarland's publications greared for a more academic/professional audience?
        If so, that explains the prices. When you only have 100 or so subscribers, the price is going to be high. There are many academic/professional journals that cost hundereds of dollars per yearly subscription. So if Base Ball is of high professinal/academic quality, $40 is not too bad (relatively speaking).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dgarza View Post
          Are Thorn's or McFarland's publications greared for a more academic/professional audience?
          If so, that explains the prices. When you only have 100 or so subscribers, the price is going to be high. There are many academic/professional journals that cost hundereds of dollars per yearly subscription. So if Base Ball is of high professinal/academic quality, $40 is not too bad (relatively speaking).
          I believe it's a more acedemic book but it is geared toward a fairly wide audience. John Thorn is the guy that was behind Total Baseball and he's written or edited several other baseball books. He was also one of the few true baseball historians featured in Ken Burns' Baseball documentary. He's got a decent following among baseball readers, myself included. The fact that Thorn is behind these books would certainly entice me to take a gamble and pay a higher price but I just can't afford those prices. I'll eventually get them at the library but I like to purchase books like this so I can read them over and over and also use them for research. If the price on this book was reasonable, say $20-$25 I'm sure they would have many more people purchasing copies.

          McFarland in general publishes books that are geared more toward a hardcore baseball audience. Biographies on Grover Cleveland Alexander, Hack Wilson, and baseball research stuff that would probably be dull reading to most casual baseball fans. I understand that with a smaller circulation prices will be higher but thier prices go beyond that. There are many other small publishers that put out the same type of material, like Nebraska university press but charge signifigantly less.

          Scott
          Last edited by steve rogers; 05-09-2008, 11:49 AM.
          I told you not to be stupid you moron.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by steve rogers View Post
            John Thorn is the editor so I'm guessing it's good. I have most of his books and all of them are excellent. But it's another Mcfarland book. I've actually written to Mcfarland and complained about their high prices. They just gave me a company line about costs and such. There are dozens of books that Mcfarland has published that I'm interested in but I just can't afford those prices. I've gotten a few of their books at the library and about half their books are good and half are so-so. I'm not going to take a chance on a book that might or might not be good for a $30 price tag plus $4 shipping. I check amazon for used books and sometimes you can get one much cheaper but usually the used Mcfarland books are $30 too. I'd much rather buy 4 or 5 other books used for the same price. I was interested in these books from the first time I saw the ads for them but I wont pay that much, it's just ridiculous.

            Scott
            Do you live near a college? Most colleges have Interlibrary Loan privileges and will gladly help you obtain any baseball book for free. You don't even have to be a student as residents who do research can get books. My university in town specializes in phys ed and coaching so their baseball section is stacked with all kinds of books. If they don't have the book I want, they can get it in a few weeks via interlibrary loan. It's one of the best kept secrets in academia.
            "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
            "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TonyK View Post
              Do you live near a college? Most colleges have Interlibrary Loan privileges and will gladly help you obtain any baseball book for free. You don't even have to be a student as residents who do research can get books. My university in town specializes in phys ed and coaching so their baseball section is stacked with all kinds of books. If they don't have the book I want, they can get it in a few weeks via interlibrary loan. It's one of the best kept secrets in academia.
              Most regular libaries have the inter-library lending systen. Here in Connecticut we have a thing called iconn where you can look up the book you want and what libaries in the state have it then you just go to your local library and ask for it. I use it all the time for books I just want to read and not own.

              Scott
              I told you not to be stupid you moron.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TonyK View Post
                Do you live near a college? Most colleges have Interlibrary Loan privileges and will gladly help you obtain any baseball book for free. You don't even have to be a student as residents who do research can get books.
                Originally posted by steve rogers View Post
                Most regular libaries have the inter-library lending systen. Here in Connecticut we have a thing called iconn where you can look up the book you want and what libaries in the state have it then you just go to your local library and ask for it. I use it all the time for books I just want to read and not own.
                Just to let everybody know, sometimes these services are free and sometimes there is a fee. It depends on the system and where you live.
                Either way, certainly something to look into.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There are 11 John Thorn books listed on eBay today. I found none on Amazon, Alibris, or Biblio though I usually find what I'm after there; good condition and even better prices. Some Web booksellers will perform a search and report back so if it's worth a look around to you, have at it!

                  Comment

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