A baseball literary treasure returns to the spotlight

From Andy McCullough at Sports on Earth on October 28, 2013, on SABR member Kevin Kerrane:

The rarity rests behind a stack of papers on a desk inside a first-floor office at the University of Delaware. Kevin Kerrane rises from his chair to fetch it. He is a few weeks from his 72nd birthday, an English professor with snow-white hair and a matching mustache. Above him looms Clint Eastwood on a poster for Le Bon, La Brute et Le Truand.

He fishes past his iMac and retrieves a first-edition copy of his book, Dollar Sign on the Muscle. Inside is a message inscribed to his mother. More than 30 years ago, Kerrane shadowed the scouts of the Philadelphia Phillies and documented the arcane habits of their profession. He published the book in 1984 and saw it certified as a cult classic in the subsequent decades. In 2002, Sports Illustrated deemed it one of the 100 best sports books ever written, a tome that lionized one generation of scouts and galvanized another.

After it went out of print about 10 years ago, its price on the secondary market hit triple digits. But soon, remarks a visitor to his Memorial Hall office one day last week, the price of this keepsake may plummet. The time to make a quick $100 is now.

“That’s a good point!” Kerrane says, eyes glittering with laughter. “This thing is going to drop in value precipitously any minute.”

In the first week of November, Baseball Prospectus will release a new edition of the book, complete with an epilogue that explores scouting in 2013. During this past season, Kerrane returned to the scene of his literary achievement. Once again he watched scouts watch players. He absorbed sunshine and wisdom. He wrote of how the landscape has changed, and how it has stayed the same. Now a new generation of readers can experience the stories that influenced so many baseball men.

Read the full article here: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/63440290/

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Originally published: October 28, 2013. Last Updated: October 28, 2013.