The SABR Bookshelf: Spring/Summer 2011

These are The SABR Bookshelf listings for Spring/Summer 2011. To get your NEW book listed on The SABR Bookshelf, make sure a review copy is sent to: The SABR Bookshelf, Society for American Baseball Research, 4455 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

To ensure a listing in The Baseball Index — SABR’s online catalog of baseball research materials at — make sure a review copy is sent to The Baseball Index, 4025 Beechwood Pl., Riverside, CA 92506.

These books can be purchased at the SABR Bookstore, powered by

Bolded names indicates that the author(s) is a SABR member. Publishers’ contact information can be found by clicking here.


Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball
By Rebecca T. Alpert

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Oxford University Press $27.95 (hdcvr) 978-0-19-539900-4
  • Summary: Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball explores the multi-faceted relationship between Jews and black baseball in Jim Crow America. Alpert explores how Jewish sports entrepreneurs, political radicals, and a team of black Jews from Belleville, Virginia, called the Belleville Grays — the only Jewish team in the history of black baseball — made their mark on the segregated world of the Negro Leagues.

Images of America: Mexican American Baseball in Los Angeles
By Francisco E. Balderrama and Richard A. Santillan

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Arcadia Publishing $27.95 (hdcvr) 978-0-19-539900-4
  • Summary: Mexican American Baseball in Los Angeles celebrates the flourishing culture of the great pastime in East Los Angeles and other communities where a strong sense of Mexican identity and pride was fostered in a sporting atmosphere of both fierce athleticism and social celebration.

Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game
By John Thorn

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Simon & Schuster $26.00 (hdcvr) 978-0-7432-9403-4
  • Summary: Think you know how the game of baseball began? Think again. Forget Abner Doubleday and Cooperstown. Forget Alexander Joy Cartwright and the New York Knickerbockers. Instead, meet Daniel Lucius Adams, William Rufus Wheaton, and Louis Fenn Wadsworth, each of whom has a stronger claim to baseball paternity than Doubleday or Cartwright. But did baseball even have a father—or did it just evolve from other bat-and-ball games? John Thorn, baseball’s preeminent historian, examines the creation story of the game and finds it all to be a gigantic lie.

Catching Heat: The Jim Leyritz Story
By Jim Leyritz, Douglas B. Lyons and Jeffrey Lyons

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Health Communications Inc. $24.95 (hdcvr) 978-0-7573-1566-4
  • Summary: Former major league catcher Jim Leyritz went from the high of his dramatic 1996 World Series home run for the New York Yankees to the low of a 2007 car accident in which he was involved that resulted in the tragic loss of a woman’s life. This book chronicles the story of a struggling player fumbling through the minors who eventually performed on the game’s highest stages, with personal highs and lows along the way.

Major League Baseball Scouts: A Biographical Dictionary
By P.J. Dragseth

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
McFarland & Co. $75.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-4360-4
  • Summary: The life of a major league baseball scout is far from glamorous. Away from his family for weeks on end, he travels to obscure parts of the world in all types of conditions in search of the next break-out star. This book, a first of its kind, gives due attention to these unsung heroes of our national pastime. Biographical profiles of more than 300 veterans scouts — from the earliest who traveled in covered wagons to long-time experts still on the job — chronicle their playing histories, scouting achievements, the organizations for which they scouts and the players they signed who made it to the major leagues.

Kenichi Zenimura: Japanese American Baseball Pioneer
By Bill Staples Jr.

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
McFarland & Co. $40.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-6134-9
  • Summary: While the story of the Negro Leagues has been well documented, few baseball fans know about the Japanese American Nisei Leagues, or of their most influential figure, Kenichi Zenimura (1900-1968). A talented player who excelled at all nine positions, Zenimura was also a respected manager and would become the Japanese American community’s baseball ambassador.

Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball
By Lawrence Baldassaro

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
University of Nebraska Press $35.95 (hdcvr) 978-0-8032-1705-8
  • Summary: Ever since future Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri became a key part of the Yankees’ Murderers’ Row lineup of 1926, Italian Americans have been among the most prominent and intriguing players in the game. The first comprehensive study of the topic, Beyond DiMaggio is also a social history of baseball, tracing the evolution of American perceptions toward those of Italian descent as it chronicles the baseball exploits that influenced those perceptions.

Wins, Losses & Empty Seats: How Baseball Outlasted the Great Depression
By David George Surdam

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
University of Nebraska Press $45.00 (hdcvr) 978-0-8032-3482-6
  • Summary: Organized baseball has survived its share of difficult times, and never was the state of the game more imperiled than during the Great Depression. Or was it? Remarkably, during the economic upheavals of the Depression none of the sixteen Major League Baseball teams folded or moved. In this economist’s look at the sport as a business between 1929 and 1941, Surdam argues that although it was a very tough decade for baseball, the downturn didn’t happen immediately.

The Kings of Casino Park: Black Baseball in the Lost Season of 1932
By Thomas Aiello

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
University of Alabama Press $39.95 (hdcvr) 978-0-8173-1742-3
  • Summary: In the 1930s, Monroe, Louisiana, was a town of twenty-six thousand in the northeastern corner of the state, an area described by the New Orleans Item as the “lynch law center of Louisiana.” race relations were bad, and the Depression was pitiless for most, especially for the working class—a great many of whom had no work at all or seasonal work at best. Yet for a few years in the early 1930s, this unlikely spot was home to the Monarchs, a national-caliber Negro League baseball team that would become the only World Series team Louisiana would ever generate, and the first from the American South.

Turbulent Seasons: Baseball in 1890-1891
By Charles C. Alexander

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Southern Methodist University Press $24.95 (hdcvr) 978-0-87074-572-0
  • Summary: This is the first book to examine in close detail the 1890 and 1891 major-league seasons, recapturing a colorful era in early baseball history when club owners quarreled, players berated umpires, sportswriters criticized and ridiculed both owners and players, and the National Game, as it was universally called, made halting progress toward the sport and business it became in the twentieth century.

Solid Fool’s Gold: Detours on the Way to Conventional Wisdom
By Bill James

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
ACTA Sports $14.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8794-6459-2
  • Summary: Since he first began publishing his Baseball Abstracts in the 1980s, Bill James has constantly challenged conventional wisdom by asking simple questions like, “Is that really true?” or “What if we looked at the question this way?” In Solid Fool’s Gold, James is still asking questions.

The Off Season: National League 1953/54
By John Oelerich

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Amika Press $12.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-9708416-3-6
  • Summary: In 1953/54, the United States was changing — and so, too, was our National Pastime. “The Off Season” is John Oelerich’s poetic tribute to baseball in an era when the color barrier was breaking down and new talent was arriving from other countries.

Remembering Fenway Park: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox
By Harvey Frommer

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Stewart, Tabori & Chang $45.00 (hdcvr) 978-1-5847-9852-1
  • Summary: Built by Red Sox owner John I. Taylor, Fenway Park opened in the spring of 1912, making it the oldest ballpark in the major leagues. Remembering Fenway Park documents the stadium’s entire career through a decade-by-decade account, a priceless collection of historical photographs, and vivid, first-person reminiscences of the people to whom this great place has meant so much: journalists, players, and fans.

A Talk in the Park: Nine Decades of Baseball Tales From the Broadcast Booth
By Curt Smith

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Potomac Books Inc. $27.50 (hdcvr) 978-1-59797-670-1
  • Summary: Since radio’s debut in the 1920s and television’s in the ’30s, the baseball announcer has become entertainer, observer, and extended member of the family. In A Talk in the Park: Nine Decades of Baseball Tales from the Broadcast Booth, many of the pastime’s most popular and famous announcers—the Voices—tell their favorite stories in their own distinctive words. It is riveting oral history.

Territorians to Boomers: Professional Baseball in Ardmore 1904-1926
By Peter G. Pierce

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Oklahoma Heritage Association $14.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-885596-91-8
  • Summary: The first in a two-part series on professional baseball in Ardmore, Oklahoma, this book covers the time the Territorians of the Texas League arrived in the early 20th century through the day when the Western Association Boomers pulled up stakes for Joplin, Missouri. 

Indians, Cardinals and Rosebuds: Professional Baseball in Ardmore 1947-1961
By Peter G. Pierce

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Oklahoma Heritage Association $14.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-885596-92-5
  • Summary: A companion piece to Pierce’s book (listed above) on professional baseball in Ardmore, Oklahoma, this book covers the period when the Indians and Cardinals toiled in the Sooner State League and the 1961 Rosebuds returned Texas League baseball to the town after a fifty-seven year absence. 

Jewel of the Sports World: The Story of the Hickok Belt Award
By Scott Pitoniak

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
RIT Press $24.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-933360-45-4
  • Summary: For a quarter century, the winner of the S. Rae Hickok Professional Athlete of the Year award received the most renowned prize for sports in America. It was the Hickok Belt — an alligator-skin belt with a 5-pound, solid gold buckle encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Pitoniak tells the story of the award, the winners and its history in Jewel of the Sports World: The Story of the Hickok Belt Award. The book includes a foreword by Muhammad Ali, who won in 1974.

10 Rings: Stories of the St. Louis Cardinals World Championships
By James Rygelski and Robert L. Tiemann

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
Reedy Press $19.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-9358-0603-5
  • Summary: 10 Rings: Stories of the St. Louis Cardinals World Championships is like ten adventure novels with different plots that all have the same ending and a happy one at that. The Cardinals were the last of the original National League teams to get to the World Series. Since that late beginning they ve become the most successful N.L. team in World Series history with ten championships. 

This Is Our Time! The 2010 San Francisco Giants
By Chris Haft and Eric Alan

Publisher Retail Price ISBN
White Cloud Press $16.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-935952-52-7
  • Summary: With uniquely wild style, the 2010 San Francisco Giants follow the 1969 New York Mets and 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers into history as a World Championship team whose success was supposed to be impossible. Welcome to the place where rally thongs meet Zen lessons, where relentless discipline meets fake beards, where the year-long neighborhood party culminates in a million being blessed by the team’s Pope in the name of Mays and McCovey.

To see additional listings for Spring/Summer 2011, click here.

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