The SABR Bookshelf: Summer 2014

Here are the SABR Bookshelf listings for Summer 2014.

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. An e-book file will also suffice; please send the e-book in PDF, EPUB or Kindle/MOBI format to

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.

Bolded names indicates that the author(s) is a SABR member. Click here for a list of publishers found in the SABR Bookshelf, along with their contact information.

All new SABR Bookshelf listings can be purchased at the SABR Bookstore, powered by In addition, check out new books published by SABR at


Yesterday’s Tiger Heroes: The Detroit Tigers and the 1956 Baseball Season
By Jim Sargent

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Wynwidyn Press $24.99 (sftcvr) 978-1-9417-3786-6 Amazon
  • Summary: A detailed history of the 1956 Detroit Tigers and the memorable figures on that team, including Al Kaline, Harvey Kuenn, Jim Bunning, and the final season of manager Bucky Harris’s career.

Boots Poffenberger: Hurler, Hero, Hellraiser
By Austin Gisriel

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Summer Game Books $15.00 (sftcvr) 978-1-9385-4544-3 Amazon
  • Summary: An affectionately written biography of one of baseball’s wild men, whose fondness for beer earned him the nickname “The Prince of Pilsner.”

Sol White’s Official Baseball Guide
By Solomon White, with introduction and notes by Gary Ashwill

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Summer Game Books $12.00 (sftcvr) 978-1-9385-4521-4 Amazon
  • Summary: A republishing of Sol White’s classic guide to black baseball, with a new introduction and annotated text by SABR member Gary Ashwill, tracing the origins and development of the African American game, recounting White’s life both on and off the field, and documenting the tremendous impact the Guide has had on baseball scholarship.

A Whole Lot of Bar-B-Q: and Other Baseball Stories
By Mike Shannon

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Summer Game Books $12.00 (sftcvr) 978-1-9385-4515-3 Amazon
  • Summary: An anthology of nine touching and funny stories by the editor of “Spitball Magazine.”

Baseball Skippers and Their Crews: The History of Every Major League Manager and Coach – 1871-2014
By Thomas W. Brucato

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
St. Johann Press $42.50 (hdcvr) 978-1-9379-4320-2 Amazon
  • Summary: Revised edition of a reference book with biographical sketches of more than 600 managers and 1,500 coaches in major league history.

The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals: The World Champion Gas House Gang
Edited by Charles F. Faber

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
SABR $6.99 (ebook) 978-1-9335-9957-1 SABR
  • Summary: A SABR BioProject book on one of the most colorful crews ever to play the National Pastime, featuring full-life biographies of Dizzy, Daffy, Ducky, Pepper, Ripper, and Leo the Lip, plus essays on the 1934 Cardinals’ season and World Series.

Baseball: The Fans’ Game
By Gordon S. (Mickey) Cochrane

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
SABR $5.99 (ebook) 978-1-9335-9957-1 SABR
  • Summary: Hall of Famer Cochrane released this book on baseball fundamentals in 1939; it was republished as a paperback by SABR in 1992 and as an e-book edition in 2014.

Japanese American Baseball in California: A History
By Kerry Yo Nakagawa

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
The History Press $21.99 (sftcvr) 978-1-6261-9582-0 Amazon
  • Summary: The author updates his 2001 book with the story of Japanese-American baseball figures who are continuing to make a difference today, including Don Wakamatsu’s pioneering role as an MLB manager in 2008.

The Texas League Baseball Almanac
By David King and Tom Kayser

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
The History Press $16.99 (sftcvr) 978-1-6261-9065-8 Amazon
  • Summary: A day-by-day history of the most memorable moments in the Texas League.

The Bridgeport Hammer
By Jonathan Weeks

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Black Rose Writing $14.35 (sftcvr) 978-1-6129-6361-7 Amazon
  • Summary: A World War II-era novel about rookie pitcher Emmett Drexler and his quirky blooper pitch that becomes an overnight sensation.

Baseball on the Prairie: How Seven Small-Town Teams Shaped Texas League History
By Kris Rutherford

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
The History Press $19.99 (sftcvr) 978-1-6094-9935-8 Amazon
  • Summary: The story of railroad expansion in Texas in the late 19th century, which brought baseball to small towns all across the state.

Strike Four! The Crankshaft Baseball Book
By Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Black Squirrel Books $24.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-6063-5192-5 Amazon
  • Summary: An illustrated and humorous novel about a fictional Toledo Mud Hens minor leaguer’s baseball exploits.

How Baseball Explains America
By Hal Bodley

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Triumph Books $24.95 (hdcvr) 978-1-6007-8938-0 Amazon
  • Summary: Bodley examines the connection between baseball and our society as a whole, taking readers into the Oval Office with George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton as the former presidents share their thoughts on the game.

Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural
Edited by Rick Wilber

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Night Shade Books $24.99 (hdcvr) 978-1-5978-0548-3 Amazon
  • Summary: An anthology of stories combining the love of science fiction with the national pastime, including contributions from Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan, Jack Kerouac, Karen Joy Fowler, Rod Serling, and W.P. Kinsella.

Mudville Madness: Fabulous Feats, Belligerent Behavior, and Erratic Episodes on the Diamond
By Jonathan Weeks

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Taylor Trade Publishing $16.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-5897-9956-1 Amazon
  • Summary: A recounting of some uncommon events in baseball history, from George Wright’s “hat catch” in 1872 through Jean Segura’s “stolen first base” in 2013.

The Devil’s Snake Curve: A Fan’s Notes From Left Field
By Josh Ostergaard

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Coffee House Press $15.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-5668-9345-9 Amazon
  • Summary: 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.

Three Up – Three Down: Pearls of Wisdom
By Merrianna L. McCully

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
CreateSpace $24.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-4961-3018-1 Amazon
  • Summary: SABR member McCully recounts her 36-year career in the newspaper industry and, in her spare time, as a statistician and analyst for Jim Kaat, CBS Sports, ESPN, MSG Network, YES Network, and “Inside Sports” magazine.

The All-In-One Baseball Stat ‘Effectiveness of Advanced Bases’ (EAB)
By Alfredo Nasiff Fors

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
CreateSpace $9.99 (sftcvr) 978-1-4944-1809-0 Amazon
  • Summary: This is a book for the lover of mathematical formulae. Nasiff Fors’ system is similar to earlier attempts to measure offensive efficiency by measuring not only the batter’s total bases, but also steals and advancement of baserunners.

Baseball’s Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914
By J. Brian Ross

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Rowman & Littlefield $38.00 (hdcvr) 978-1-4422-3606-6 Amazon
  • Summary: On the 100th anniversary of the “Miracle Braves,” here is the story of Boston’s worst-to-first championship season placed into the context of the Progressive Era and the beginning of World War I.

The 1928 New York Yankees: The Return of Murderers’ Row
By Charlie Gentile

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Rowman & Littlefield $45.00 (hdcvr) 978-1-4422-3598-4 Amazon
  • Summary: This book tells the story of the New York Yankees championship team in 1928, which is often overshadowed by their 1927 predecessors. In 1928, the Bronx Bombers rode a roller-coaster season to a nail-biting finish just ahead of the Philadelphia A’s.

Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak
By William Povletich

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Wisconsin Historical Society Press $24.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8702-0423-4 Amazon
  • Summary: Povletich divides the Braves’ stay in Milwaukee into six separate chapters, from the arrival in 1953 through the World Series teams of 1957 and 1958 to the flight to Atlanta after 1965. The book contains many photographs and cartoons from the era.

Black Baseball Entrepreneurs, 1902-1931: The Negro National and Eastern Colored Leagues
By Michael Lomax

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Syracuse University Press $34.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8156-1039-7 Amazon
  • Summary: As the companion volume to “Black Baseball Entrepreneurs,1860-1901,” Lomax’s new book continues to chronicle the history of black baseball in the United States by taking a closer look at the marketing and promotion of the Negro Leagues by black baseball magnates.

Inventing Baseball Heroes: Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, and the Sporting Press in America
By Amber Roessner

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Louisiana State University Press $39.95 (hdcvr) 978-0-8071-5611-7 Amazon
  • Summary: Roessner examines “herocrafting” in sports journalism through an incisive analysis of the work surrounding two of baseball’s most enduring personalities Detroit Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb and New York Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson.

Winning in Both Leagues: Reflections from Baseball’s Front Office
By J. Frank Cashen

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $24.95 (hdcvr) 978-0-8032-4965-3 Amazon
  • Summary: The late major league executive looks back at his 25-year career in baseball in the front offices of the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets.

When Baseball Went White: Reconstruction, Reconciliation, and Dreams of a National Pastime
By Ryan A. Swanson

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $29.95 (hdcvr) 978-0-8032-3521-2 Amazon
  • Summary: Swanson explores how baseball promoters’ desire to make the game the “national pastime” worked against African-American players’ desires to participate in professional ball. He explores how segregation was implemented and confirmed.

Forfeits and Successfully Protested Games in Major League Baseball: A Complete Record, 1871-2013
By David Nemec and Eric Miklich

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $29.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-9423-1 Amazon
  • Summary: Organized chronologically, the book details the 128 forfeited and 58 successfully protested games in major league history. Most forfeits are from the 19th century before franchises stabilized and rules became better codified, but there are some great stories in here.

Baseball Explained
By Phillip Mahony

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $25.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7964-1 Amazon
  • Summary: This is for the new fan, but one with a fairly advanced vocabulary — such as a well-educated immigrant or spouse. The language is clear, which is good because baseball is not easily explained, with all its exceptions and digressions.

When in Doubt, Fire the Skipper: Midseason Managerial Changes in Major League Baseball
By Gary Webster

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $39.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7892-7 Amazon
  • Summary: Season by season beginning in 1902, Webster chronicles more than 300 in-season managerial changes, examining the reasons, the reactions, and whether it actually did any good.

The Set-Up Men: Race, Culture and Resistance in Black Baseball
By Sarah L. Trembanis

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $35.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7796-8 Amazon
  • Summary: Trembanis weaves an analysis of the Negro Leagues as a cultural counterweight to the stereotypes African-Americans encountered during the leagues’ heyday. It examines editorial cartoons, folk tales, and clowning as aspects of the counter-image.

Old Comiskey Park: Essays and Memories of the Historic Home of the Chicago White Sox, 1910-1991
Edited by Floyd Sullivan

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $39.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7592-6 Amazon
  • Summary: Old Comiskey Park is the third in a series of essay collections about classic ballparks; Ebbets Field and Forbes Field were the previous volumes. The essays cover the stadium from construction to destruction, with the exploding scoreboard and other tales in between.

Johnny Evers: A Baseball Life
By Dennis Snelling

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $29.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7591-9 Amazon
  • Summary: A solidly researched biography of the Cubs/Braves great of the early 20th century and early Hall of Famer.

Lefty Grove and the 1931 Philadelphia Athletics
By Robert P. Broadwater

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $29.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7566-7 Amazon
  • Summary: While containing a biography of Grove, the book is more focused on the 1931 Athletics. It follows as Connie Mack adds the players who would lead the team, then through their peak season, and into the financial troubles that caused the dismemberment.

Ed McKean: Slugging Shortstop of the Cleveland Spiders
By Rich Blevins

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $29.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7334-2 Amazon
  • Summary: Talk about overlooked 19th-century stars: McKean was the model for slugging shortstops in the days before Honus Wagner. When the Spiders were good, he was one of the sparkplugs.

Lead Me Out to the Ballgame: Stories and Strategies to Develop Major League Leadership
By Howard C. Fero and Rebecca L. Herman

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Major League Leadership Enterprises $19.99 (sftcvr) 978-0-9960-8800-8 Amazon
  • Summary: Stories from major league managers on leadership skills, including how they gain the trust and respect of their players, overcoming challenges on and off the field, and motivating a diverse team.

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