Are You Cactus or Grapefruit League?
It may not yet feel like spring, but Major League Baseball’s spring training doesn’t wait for warm weather – even in Florida and Arizona.
So celebrate one of baseballs’ great traditions by flexing your baseball-fan muscles with these books and films:
Pow! A Peanuts Collection
Charles M. Schulz
As manager of the endlessly losing team, Charlie Brown soldiers on to keep his team’s spirits up, while being constantly blown off the pitching mound in a clothes-exploding fashion. It doesn’t help that his catcher is a musician by nature or that his shortstop is a dog.
Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns
It is an epic overflowing with heroes and hopefuls, scoundrels and screwballs. It is a saga spanning the quest for racial justice, the clash of labor and management, the transformation of popular culture, and the unfolding of the national pastime. Here is the story of a nation at work and play.
You Gotta Have Heart
by Frederic J. Frommer
A history of Washington baseball: from the pioneering Nationals in 1859 to the the city’s 1924 World Series championship; from the Homestead Grays – a perennial Negro League pennant winner of the late 1930s through mid-1940s that consistently outplayed the Senators – to the Senators’ 1971 departure; and from the return of the Nationals and on to the 2012 National league East championship.
The holy grail, the fountain of youth, the golden fleece, and the baseball: rarely do objects inspire such madness. The Baseball is a salute to the ball, filled with insider trivia, anecdotes, and generations of ball-induced insanity.
Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball
by John Feinstein
Sports journalist John Feinstein explores the colorful and mysterious world of minor-league baseball–a gateway through which all major-league players pass in their careers . . . hoping never to return.
The Devil’s Snake Curve: A Fan’s Notes from Left Field
by Josh Ostergaard
Offers an alternative American history, in which colonialism, jingoism, capitalism, and faith are represented by baseball. Personal and political, it twines Japanese internment camps with the Yankees; Walmart with the Kansas City Royals; and facial hair patterns with militarism, Guantanamo, and the modern security state.
by Scott Simkus
The story of the mostly forgotten world of the mercenaries, scalawags, and outcasts who made up the independent professional ball clubs: an alternate baseball universe where Babe Ruth, Rube Waddell, and John McGraw crossed bats with the Cuban Stars, Tokyo Giants, Brooklyn Bushwicks, dozens of famous Negro league teams, and novelty acts such as the House of David and Bloomer Girls.
A lighthearted, personal, and amusing cultural history of the sports mascot by a former Mr. Met, from its jester roots in Renaissance society to the slapstick pantomime of the Clown Prince of Baseball, Max Patkin, all the way up to the mascots of the slam-dunk, rock-and-roll, Jumbotron culture of today.
by Derek E. Sullivan
Henry “Biggie” Abbott has hidden behind his weight for years, and although he is the son and stepson of two of Finch, Minnesota’s most famous athletes, he prefers academic success until the girl of his dreams suggests he join the baseball team, and, with his stepbrother’s help, he discovers he is a great pitcher.
by Derek Jeter
As a young boy, Derek Jeter dreams of begin the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even imagines himself in the World Series. So when Derek is chosen for the Little League Tigers, he hopes to play shortstop. But on the day of the assignments, Derek Starts at second base. Still, he tries his best while he wishes and dreams of that shortstop spot. And to help him stay focused on school, his parents make him a contract: keep up the grades or no baseball.
The Bilko Athletic Club: The Story of the 1956 Los Angeles Angels
by Gaylon H. White
Before Walter O’Malley brought the Dodgers to Southern California in 1958, Los Angeles belonged to the Angels. A part of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League (PCL), it was a minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and was as loved in its time as Brooklyn loved its bums.