The Bona Fide Legend of Cool Papa Bell: Speed, Grace and the Negro Leagues; By Lonnie Wheeler; 325 pages; Abrams Press, New York; 2021. In biographies written about professional athletes, especially baseball, there is typically a section near the bibliography and index outlining a player’s career statistics, usually listed year by year with team affiliations. … Continue reading Cool Papa Bell: New book looks for the man behind the baseball mythology
Jim Thome was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. The announcement arrived Wednesday night from New York. There wasn't much doubt the affable Thome, with 612 career home runs and a career devoid of steroid accusations, would be elected along with fellow first-timer Chipper Jones this year. It's an outstanding … Continue reading Is Jim Thome the first from a Burlington minor league team to make the Hall of Fame?
A few years ago at the annual Friends of the Alamance County Library Book Sale I uncovered a real treasure. It's a book about ultimate truths. It's a book full of wisdom for the ages. It's a book brimming with best practices of every description. And it's a book published in 1951. And it's a … Continue reading Ultimate truths, wisdom and baseball
Friday I walked up to the small tent set up outside the basement entrance to May Memorial Library in Burlington. "I can shop at the Fall Book Sale today if I join the Friends of the Library, correct?" I asked the two women operating in the makeshift shade on a sunny afternoon. "Aren't you a … Continue reading Something in the air: Ah yes, the annual Fall Book Sale
“The Captain Class”; by Sam Walker; 333 pages; Random House, 2017. Sam Walker began with one simple question. Through his research, the quest took a new direction. By the time he had completed his journey Walker had produced something both intended but also serendipitous. The outcome is both ironic and coincidental. That’s a rather sloppy … Continue reading Book review: The Captain Class
Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic (Reggie, Rollie, Catfish and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s’); by Jason Turbow; 2017; 386 pages; Haughton, Mifflin, Harcourt Publishing Co. “When Roy Eisenhardt showed up at the Coliseum toward the end of the year to familiarize himself with the front office he was stunned by the organizational wasteland before him.” So begins a … Continue reading Book review: ‘Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic
Of more recent vintage but I still have many others to track down. --- “Intangiball: The Subtle Things that win Baseball Games”; by Lonnie Wheeler; Simon and Schuster, 2015; 271 pages. In 2003 the book “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis altered the way people inside and outside of baseball thought about the game. In a narrative … Continue reading Book Review: ‘Intangiball’
This is from a few years back by one of my favorite chroniclers of baseball history and a damn good newspaper writer. --- “The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, immigrants and a Wild Pennant Fight made Baseball America’s Game;” By Edward Achorn; Public Affairs; 263 pages. Recording history is one thing. … Continue reading Book review: ‘The Summer of Beer and Whiskey’