N.Y. Times: Football-loving Nebraska nurtures baseball books

From David Davis at The New York Times on April 2, 2012, with mention of SABR members Jim Gates, Jane Leavy, David Nemec, Rob Fitts and Norman Macht:

From offices about a mile off campus, in the shadows of the state capitol in Lincoln, the University of Nebraska Press and its imprint, Bison Books, publish four to eight books a year for the hard-core hardball fan. Via its partnership with the Society for American Baseball Research, or SABR, Nebraska also distributes the organization’s wonkish publications, The National Pastime and The Baseball Research Journal.

“We’re a humanities-based academic press that happens to publish scholarly work about baseball,” said Rob Taylor, the Nebraska press’s interim editor in chief. “People sometimes forget that sports is a vibrant part of American history.”

Other university presses, including those at Syracuse and Temple, have long published sports titles. But Nebraska’s baseball focus, with a decided emphasis on the obscure and the offbeat, has won praise. Some of its books landed on Baseball America magazine’s top 10 list for 2011: Volumes 1 and 2 of David Nemec’s “Major League Baseball Profiles, 1871-1900” and “Pitching in the Promised Land: A Story of the First and Only Season in the Israel Baseball League,” by Aaron Pribble.

Titles for spring 2012 include Robert K. Fitts’s “Banzai Babe Ruth,” about the all-star barnstorming tour of Japan in 1934; Chris Lamb’s “Conspiracy of Silence,” about the role of journalists in the desegregation of the major leagues; and the second volume of Norman L. Macht’s biographical trilogy of Manager Connie Mack.

Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/sports/baseball/football-loving-nebraska-nurtures-baseball-literature.html?_r=1

Originally published: April 3, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2012.