The SABR Bookshelf: Winter 2014

Here are the SABR Bookshelf listings for Winter 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


The Forgotten History of African American Baseball
By Lawrence Hogan

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Praeger $43.20 (hdcvr) 978-0-3133-7984-0 Amazon
  • Summary: This book takes readers from the origins of African-Americans playing baseball on southern plantations in the pre-Civil War era through black baseball in the Jim Crow era to the significance of black baseball in the present day.

Curse of the Black Bambino: Baseball’s Failure to Attract African-American Athletes
By Anup Sinha

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Self-published $12.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-6159-0014-8 Amazon
  • Summary: Former major league scout Anup Sinha examines why baseball has become less attractive to African-Americans just decades after Jackie Robinson’s debut.

Ball Nuts: A Mad 1977 Baseball Replay Odyssey
By Jeff Polman

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Grassy Gutter Press $10.79 (sftcvr) 978-0-6159-2920-0 Amazon
  • Summary: The fictional “Ball Nuts” traces the daily fortunes of six baseball-crazy inmates who escape from a Squallpocket, Maine hospital via a mysterious time warp to experience a wild, funkified, and re-imagined 1977 baseball season.

Babe Ruth’s Called Shot: The Myth and Mystery of Baseball’s Greatest Home Run
By Ed Sherman

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Lyons Press $25.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7627-8539-1 Amazon
  • Summary: The first full-length, in-depth look at one of baseball’s most celebrated and enduring moments — including the incredible stories of two hand-held videos taken by fans and rediscovered decades later. Did Ruth really call his shot?

Gib Bodet, Major League Scout: Twelve Thousand Baseball Games and Six Million Miles
By Gib Bodet as told to P.J. Dragseth

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $29.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7240-6 Amazon
  • Summary: A longtime scout with the Red Sox, Tigers, Expos, Angels, Royals and Dodgers tells the story of his 70-year love affair with baseball.

Vaudeville on the Diamond: Minor League Baseball in Today’s Entertainment World
By David M. Sutera

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Rowman & Littlefield $65.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-8108-9177-7 Amazon
  • Summary: This book discusses the lure of minor league baseball with fans, players, and team representatives. It also examines how teams have survived in the modern-day entertainment world.

The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball
By Benjamin Baumer and Andrew Zimbalist

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Pennsylvania Press $26.50 (hdcvr) 978-0-8122-4572-1 Amazon
  • Summary: Tracing the growth of front office dependence on sabermetrics and the breadth of its use today, the authors explore how major league baseball and the field of sports analytics have changed in the decade since “Moneyball” was published.

Ecstasy to Agony: The 1994 Montreal Expos: How the Best Team in Baseball Ended up in Washington 10 Years Later
By Danny Gallagher and Bill Young

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Scoop Press $40.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-9681-8595-7
  • Summary: Traces the fortunes of the Expos from that day in 1989 when the organization’s original owner Charles Bronfman decided to sell the team and step away from baseball, through to the team’s climb to glory in 1994 and then its final descent into oblivion ten years later.

Analyzing Baseball Data with R
By Max Marchi and Jim Albert

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
CRC Press $39.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-4665-7022-1 Amazon
  • Summary: This book serves as an introduction to the statistics software R for anyone interested in baseball data. The authors detail R’s uses in baseball and provide examples of the use of R through popular sabermetric topics.

521: The Story of Ted Williams’ Home Runs
By Bill Nowlin

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Rounder Books $10.40 (sftcvr) 978-1-5794-0240-2 Amazon
  • Summary: This book covers each and every one of Ted Williams’ 521 home runs – but by no means stops there. It also looks at homers he hit in high school, in the minors, in exhibition games, and in All-Star Games.

Tales from the Deadball Era: Ty Cobb, Home Run Baker, Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Wildest Times in Baseball History
By Mark Halfon

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Potomac Books $26.95 (hdcvr) 978-1-6123-4648-9 Amazon
  • Summary: A look at life in the major leagues in the early 1900s, the careers of John McGraw, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson, and the events that brought about the end of the Deadball Era.

Turning the Black Sox White: The Misunderstood Legacy of Charles A. Comiskey
By Tim Hornbaker

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Sports Publishing $18.27 (hdcvr) 978-1-6132-1638-5 Amazon
  • Summary: From changing the way the first base position was played, to spreading the concept of “small ball” as a manager, to his vilification as a cheapskate who helped cause the Black Sox Scandal, here’s the full-life story of White Sox owner and Hall of Famer Charles Comiskey.

Great Stuff: Baseball’s Most Amazing Pitching Feats
By Rich Westcott

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Sports Publishing $24.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-6132-1651-4 Amazon
  • Summary: A compilation of stories about great pitching performances, from Christy Mathewson to Johnny Vander Meer to Steve Carlton to Nolan Ryan.

The Closer: A Baseball Love Story
By Alan Mindell

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Sunbury Press $14.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-6200-6240-1 Amazon
  • Summary: This book revolves around Terry Landers, a knuckleballer and the fictional counterpart of R.A. Dickey. The story follows Terry on the mound and with his family as he finally gets his chance to play in the majors at age 33.

Base-Ball: How to Become a Player
By John Montgomery Ward

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
SABR $4.99 (ebook) 978-1-9335-9961-8
  • Summary: Hall of Famer John Montgomery Ward tossed the second perfect game in major league history and later became the game’s best shortstop and a great, inventive manager. He led the players into their own league in 1890 and came within a hair’s breadth of changing the structure of baseball forever. Two years before that, however, in 1888, he published the book “Base-Ball: How to Become a Player.” Originally published by SABR in paperback in 1993, this is SABR’s first e-book edition of Ward’s classic.

The Miracle Braves of 1914: Boston’s Original Worst-to-First World Series Champions
Edited by Bill Nowlin

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
SABR $6.99 (ebook) 978-1-9335-9968-7
  • Summary: Long before the Red Sox “Impossible Dream” season, Boston’s now nearly forgotten “other” team, the 1914 Boston Braves, performed a baseball “miracle” that resounds to this very day. The essence of the “miracle” is captured through a comprehensive compendium of incisive biographies of the players and other figures associated with the team, with additional relevant research pieces on the season.

New Century, New Team: The 1901 Boston Americans
Edited by Bill Nowlin

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
SABR $6.99 (ebook) 978-1-933599-59-5
  • Summary: The story of Boston’s first entry in the American League in 1901. It includes the collective work of more than 25 SABR members, offering individual biographies of star players like Cy Young and Jimmy Collins, team owner Charles Somers, league founder Ban Johnson, and more. There is also a “biography” of the Huntington Avenue Grounds ballpark and a study of media coverage of Boston baseball in 1901, and a timeline running from the first spring training through that year’s postseason games.

Angels in the Ozarks: Professional Baseball in Fayetteville and the Arkansas State/Arkansas-Missouri League 1934-1940
By J.B. Hogan

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Pen-L Publishing $15.97 (sftcvr) 978-1-9402-2210-3 Amazon
  • Summary: This book tells the story of a small Class D minor league in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It delves into the history, teams, and individuals of what is known as the “smallest league that ever functioned in organized baseball.”

White Elephant: The Rise and Fall of Miami Baseball Stadium
By Rolando Llanes

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Self-published $4.99 (ebook) n/a
  • Summary: The story of one of South Florida’s most unforgettable architectural icons, Miami Stadium, aka Bobby Maduro Stadium. A companion to the 2007 film “White Elephant” co-produced by the author.

Outsider Baseball: The Weird World of Hardball on the Fringe, 1876–1950
By Scott Simkus

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Chicago Review Press $19.53 (hdcvr) 978-1-6137-4816-9 Amazon
  • Summary: The story of a time when independent professional ball clubs zig-zagged across America, plying their trade in big cities and small villages alike. Included among the former and future major leaguers were mercenaries, scalawags, and outcasts. This is where Babe Ruth, Rube Waddell, and John McGraw crossed bats with the Cuban Stars, Tokyo Giants, Brooklyn Bushwicks, dozens of famous Negro league teams, and novelty acts such as the House of David and Bloomer Girls.

Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos
By Jonah Keri

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Random House Canada $32.00 (hdcvr) 978-0-3073-6135-6 Amazon
  • Summary: A history of the rise and fall of Canada’s first major league baseball franchise — gone now but not forgotten — from “the definitive Expos fan,” Grantland columnist Jonah Keri.

Hits and Misses in the Baseball Draft: What the Top Picks Teach Us About Selecting Tomorrow’s Major League Stars
By Alan Maimon and Chuck Myron

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $35.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7031-0 Amazon
  • Summary: Maimon and Myron analyze almost 50 years of draft data, analyzing what worked, what didn’t, and why. While they conclude scouting departments are doing better, they conclude there’s still a lot of luck involved.

The A’s: A Baseball History
By David M. Jordan

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $29.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7781-4 Amazon
  • Summary: There hasn’t been a full history of the A’s since the Putnam biography of Connie Mack over 60 years ago. In many ways, this is a supplement to that book as Jordan treat the Philadelphia version in the first 70 pages and then goes on to Kansas City and Oakland.

The Irish and the Making of American Sport, 1835-1920
By Patrick R. Redmond

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $55.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7553-7 Amazon
  • Summary: This isn’t strictly a baseball book, but there’s a lot of baseball in it. It examines such issues as how Irish immigrants used sports to adapt to America and how they changed those sports by doing so. It looks at the Irish and gambling, alcohol, violence and respectability.

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