The SABR Bookshelf: Winter 2013

Here are The SABR Bookshelf listings for Winter 2013. To get your NEW book listed on The SABR Bookshelf, make sure a review copy is sent to: SABR, 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.


Becoming Big League: Seattle, The Pilots and Stadium Politics
By Bill Mullins

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Washington Press $17.79 (sftcvr) 978-0-295-99252-5 Amazon
  • Summary: Becoming Big League is the story of Seattle’s relationship with major league baseball from the 1962 World’s Fair to the completion of the Kingdome in 1976 and beyond.

Shibe Park-Connie Mack Stadium: Images of Sports
By Rich Westcott

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Arcadia Publishing $21.99 (sftcvr) 978-0-7385-7653-4 Amazon
  • Summary: A novel showing the memorable images from the Shibe Park later called Connie Mack Stadium. Home of the Athletics for 46 years, the Phillies for 32 and a half seasons, and the Eagles for 18 years, it was also the site of Negro League baseball games. Over the years, as the area developed, Shibe Park became known for its obstructed views, delicious hot dogs, Sunday curfews, absence of beer, and boobirds. Along with memorable teams and games, the ballpark played host to eight World Series and two All-Star games.

The American League in Transition, 1965-1975
By Paul Hensler

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $39.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-4626-1 Amazon
  • Summary: Chronicles a decade dominated by the Minnesota Twins, the Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland Athletics, but not the New York Yankees. It looks at how these teams were assembled and how they peaked and then declined.

Ebbets Field: Essays and Memories of Brooklyn’s Historic Ballpark, 1913-1960
Edited by John G. Zinn and Paul Zinn

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $39.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-4827-2 Amazon
  • Summary: Ten essays on various aspects of Ebbets Field’s history, including reminiscences by players who performed there. Also, boxes and play-by-plays for first and last games, and lists of the music played at those games.

Season of Ghosts: The ’86 Mets and the Red Sox
By Howard Burman

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $35.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7042-6 Amazon
  • Summary: While the title would lead you to believe this is about the 1986 World Series, it’s actually a broader book focused on the entire season and the way baseball was changing during the mid-1980s — with salaries, collusion, drugs, free agency, racism, cheating, gambling, football and cable tv all thrown into the mix.

The Expos in Their Prime: The Short-Lived Glory of Montreal’s Team, 1977-1984
By Alain Usereau

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $29.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7081-5 Amazon
  • Summary: First published in French, SABR member Alain Usereau takes us on a tour of the years when the young Expos were at the top of their game and Montreal’s baseball future seemed strong. Usereau examines the team’s growing popularity and why it wasn’t sustained.

The Science of the Fastball
By William Blewett

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $29.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7179-9 Amazon
  • Summary: Blewett presents the high hard one in the light of skeleton, muscles, tendons, kinesiology and all the other elements that go into the pitch. He examines individual fireballers and what particular combinations played into their fastballs.

The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2011-2012
Edited by William M. Simons

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $45 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7295-6 Amazon
  • Summary: This biennial collection of essays from the annual Cooperstown Symposium updates the series through 2012. It features 16 scholarly essays on topics from minor leagues, through stadium bonds and film, to sabermetrics.

Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball’s Color Line
By Tom Dunkel

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Atlantic Monthly Press $16.33 (sftcvr) 978-0-8021-2012-0 Amazon
  • Summary: A novel about the team that first broke the color barrier a decade before Jackie Robinson broke out with the Brooklyn Dodgers. In North Dakota, Bismarck baseball team owner Neil Churchill found the best players he could find regardless of race.

Lefty: An American Odyssey
By Vernona Gomez and Lawrence Goldstone

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Ballantine Books $28.00 (hrdcvr) 978-0345-52648-9 Amazon
  • Summary: The first book-length biography of the great Yankee lefty, Vernon Gomez, co-authored by his daughter. Includes extensive material on his post-baseball career and his marriage to actress June O’Dea.

The Happiest Recap, First Base: 1962-1973
By Greg W. Prince

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Banner Day Press $16.95 (sftcvr) 978-0615655284 Amazon
  • Summary: First of a projected 4-volume set detailing Mets history through recaps of 500 of the team’s victories. This first book goes through the 1973 season.

Auditioning for Cooperstown: Rating Baseball’s Stars for the Hall of Fame
By Andre Lower

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Self-published $24.99 (sftcvr) 978-0615702360 Amazon
  • Summary: Lower uses a combination of career Win Shares and peak Win Shares, along with positional dominance, to make his ratings. He also provides quick sketches of the players and relevant statistics from their career numbers.

Historical Dictionary of Baseball
By Lyle Spatz

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Scarecrow Press $115.00 (hrdcvr) 978-0810878129 Amazon
  • Summary: Primarily devoted to the major leagues, but this reference book also includes entries on the minor leagues, the Negro Leagues, women’s baseball, baseball in various other countries and other topics.

Memories of a Ballplayer: Bill Werber and Baseball in the 1930s
By Bill Werber and C. Paul Rogers III

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
SABR $6.99 (ebook) 978-0910137843 SABR
  • Summary: Rich in anecdotes and humor, Memories of a Ballplayer is a memoir of the world of big-league baseball in the 1930s. Originally published by SABR in hardcover in 2000 and in paperback in 2001, the book is still in print but now available as an e-book (free for SABR members.)

By F.C. Lane

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
SABR $9.99 (ebook) 978-0910137867 SABR
  • Summary: First published in 1925, Batting collects the wisdom and insights of over 250 hitters and baseball figures. Lane interviewed extensively and compiled tips and advice on everything from batting stances to beanballs. Legendary baseball figures such as Ty Cobb, Casey Stengel, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Rogers Hornsby, and Babe Ruth reveal the secrets of such integral and interesting parts of the game. This book was published as a paperback by SABR in 2001 and is now available as an e-book.

The Farmers’ Game: Baseball in Rural America
By David Vaught

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
The Johns Hopkins Press $29.95 (hrdcvr) 978-1-4214-0755-5 Amazon
  • Summary: In a series of essays, Vaught ties baseball’s enduring popularity to its connection with America’s rural society. While acknowledging the Doubleday myth, he discusses the game’s connections with farmer and farm life over the decades.

Detroit Tigers 1984: What A Start! What A Finish!
Edited by Mark Pattison and David Raglin

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
SABR $9.99 (ebook) 978-1-933599-45-8 SABR
  • Summary: SABR’s latest BioProject book includes profiles of every Tiger from that magical 1984 season, plus those of field management, top executives, broadcasters — and even venerable Tiger Stadium and the city itself.

Miracle on Grass
By David Fanucchi

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Self-published $19.38 (sftcvr) 978-1478357414 Amazon
  • Summary: The story of how Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda led Team USA to a shocking upset over Cuba in 2000, capturing the only Olympic gold medal in USA baseball history.

Bat, Ball & Bible: Baseball and Sunday Observance in New York
By Charles DeMotte

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Potomac Books $18.96 (hrdcvr) 978-1597979474 Amazon
  • Summary: Bat, Ball & Bible chronicles the collision of moral and social forces in the argument over upholding New York State’s blue laws, meant to restrict social activities and maintain Sunday’s traditional standing as a day of religious observation.

After Many A Summer: The Passing of the Giants and Dodgers and a Golden Age in New York Baseball
By Robert E. Murphy


Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $24.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8032-4573-0 Amazon


  • Summary: The relocation of the Giants and the Dodgers was an event that transcended sports and altered the landscape of New York City. This book goes into the baseball lore, civic history, and the wheeling and dealing, alliances and betrayals, and sharp-elbowed machinations of big-city business and politics.

One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season
By Tony La Russa and Rick Hummel

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
William Morrow $27.99 (hrdcvr) 978-0062207388 Amazon
  • Summary: An account of Tony La Russa’s final season as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, when they staged a dramatic comeback in September to secure a postseason berth and then won a dramatic World Series in seven games over the Texas Rangers.


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