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Book Review: ‘Joe Cronin, A Life In Baseball’

James Bailey -

On a cool, rainy May night in 1984, the Red Sox honored two of the franchise's greatest players by retiring their numbers in a pregame ceremony. Ted Williams and Joe Cronin were the first players ever so recognized by the team, and while they were beloved by the city of Boston, fewer than 10,000 fans showed up for a game that was eventually rained out. Among the crowd was a young Mark Armour, who had no inclination at that time that a quarter century later he would pen Cronin's biography, "Joe Cronin, A Life in Baseball."

Majors | #2010#Book Guide

Book Review: Willie Mays

James Bailey -

For all Willie Mays did, on the field and off, no one ever captured the breadth of his contributions. Until now. James S. Hirsch's "Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend" is the first authorized biography of baseball's most complete player, and it builds on everything that has come before it. Here is Mays as a youngster growing up in starkly segregated Alabama, as an anxious rookie convinced he doesn't belong in the big leagues, and as a reluctant superstar, skeptical of the motives of everyone who approaches him.

Majors | #2010#Book Guide

Book Review: The Bullpen Gospels

John Manuel -

Dirk Hayhurst already has accomplished more in his professional careers than most people do in a lifetime.<br/><br/>And yet in "The Bullpen Gospels: Minor League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran" (Citadel Press), Hayhurst rarely puts on airs or displays the ego of a major league baseball player, or of a published writer whose book has been blurbed by the likes of Bob Costas and Keith Olbermann

Majors | #2010#Book Guide

Book Review: Cardboard Gods

James Bailey -

In 2006, Josh Wilker began blogging about his collection, card by card, reaching into the box to stir up memories. In the early days his writing appeared on a site called Baseball Toaster, under the title Cardboard Gods. In time he went solo, moving to www.cardboardgods.net, where he blogs these days. This laid the groundwork for his memoir, "Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards," due in bookstores on April 12.

Majors | #2010#Book Guide

Book Review: The Man With Two Arms

James Bailey -

When I received a copy of Billy Lombardo's "The Man with Two Arms," my first thought was "Rookie of the Year." For those fortunate enough to have forgotten it, that was the inane 1993 movie about a 12-year-old Chicago boy who stars for the Cubs after elbow surgery allows him to throw 103 mph. But while Lombardo's hero grows up in the Windy City and likewise signs with the Cubs, the similarities end there. Whew. Instead it's a solid, if sometimes a tad unreleastic addition to the relatively slim field of baseball fiction.

Majors | #2010#Book Guide

BA Book Reviews

James Bailey -

Paul Richards bridged a baseball generation gap, working for managers like Wilbert Robinson and Connie Mack as a young player and passing the torch to current skipper Tony La Russa in his twilight years. His resume included stints as player, manager, general manager, scout and special assistant. He helped several Hall of Famers get their careers under way, including Brooks Robinson, Joe Morgan and Nellie Fox. So why don't you know more about him?

Majors | #2010#Book Guide

BA Book Reviews

James Bailey -

James Bailey reviews dueling Alexander Cartwright biographies, which rekindle a historic debate. Jay Martin and Monica Nucciarone offer differing views of Cartwright's contributions.

Majors | #2009#Book Guide

BA Book Reviews: “Catcher”

James Bailey -

Part daredevil, part cowboy, early catchers made themselves indispensable with their reckless disregard for their own safety. The growth of the position significantly impacted the evolution of baseball in the latter part of the 19th century. Peter Morris details this progression in "Catcher: How the Man behind the Plate Became an American Folk Hero".

Majors | #2009#Book Guide