James Bailey

Book Review: The Might Have Been

James Bailey -

To tab Yates, or Edward Everett as he's called throughout, the hero of Joseph Schuster's "The Might Have Been" is to upsell his lot in the baseball landscape. There's little heroic about him, next to no glamour in his life once he returns to the bush leagues, never again to sniff major league air. As a young man his self-absorption sows the seeds of the loneliness that will plague him well into middle age.

Majors | #2012#Book Guide

The Best Baseball Books Of 2011

James Bailey -

In March 2010, Little, Brown outbid seven other publishers for the rights to an unemployed author's first book, paying $650,000 to publish Chad Harbach's tale about a slick-fielding shortstop at a fictional Division III college in Wisconsin. It was a highly unusual transaction for a debut novel targeted at a male audience. The publisher was vindicated, however, by a constant flow of praise in the months leading up to the release of "The Art of Fielding," certainly unprecedented among baseball novels. The book lived up to its hype, landing a coveted place on the New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2011 list. It also tops ours, the only work of fiction to win a spot.

Majors | #2011#Book Guide

Book Review: Major League Baseball Profiles, 1871-1900

James Bailey -

David Nemec's obsession with 19th-century baseball dates back to his junior year of high school in the mid-1950s. His fascination hasn't wavered in the half century since. His ambitious undertaking to catalog the debut and finale dates of every 19th-century major leaguer expanded into something even greater: Write a short biography for every player who suited up in a major league contest from 1871-1900. While he eventually settled on anyone who had one year as a qualifier for a league's batting or ERA title, what was left still weighed in at over 1,200 pages, in a two-volume set entitled "Major League Baseball Profiles, 1871-1900" released this fall by University of Nebraska Press.

Majors | #2011#Book Guide

Book Review: Flip Flop Fly Ball

James Bailey -

While many fans find both left- and right-brain appeal in baseball, few are better at wedding them than Craig Robinson, who joins baseball and infographics on his quirky Flip Flop Fly Ball website. Through his unique graphics, Robinson draws meaning out of a world of numbers and provides context for a boundless range of matters, many of which you never realized you were curious about—at least until you saw it sketched out in full color. He pulls off the same trick in a new book.

Majors | #2011#Book Guide

2011 International League Top 20 Prospects

James Bailey -

Even without Stephen Strasburg, it was another great year for prospect dreaming in the Triple-A International League. Twenty-six members of Baseball America's preseason Top 100 Prospects list competed with IL clubs at some point during the season, including three of the top five in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre catcher Jesus Montero, Lehigh Valley outfielder Domonic Brown and Gwinnett righthander Julio Teheran.

Minors | #2011#League Top 20 Prospects#Rankings

Book Review: The Art of Fielding

James Bailey -

Chad Harbach's debut novel, "The Art of Fielding," drew a huge advance and praise from all corners of the literary world, to a degree unprecedented for a baseball novel. Can the book possibly live up to this advance billing? In a word, yes.<br/>

Majors | #2011#Book Guide

Book Review: 1961*

James Bailey -

Fifty years ago this summer, Yankees teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle waged the greatest (non-juiced) tandem assault on the record book in baseball history. Maris, of course, established a new single-season home run mark with 61, topping Babe Ruth's 154-game accomplishment, while Mantle fell short with 54. To commemorate the golden anniversary of their race, Phil Pepe, a beat writer for the New York World-Telegram & Sun over the season's final two months, has penned "1961*: The Inside Story of the Maris-Mantle Home Run Chase."

Majors | #2011#Book Guide