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Baseball by the Book

A veteran baseball writer and editor explores the world of books about baseball through interviews with today's best baseball authors.
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Baseball by the Book
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jul 7, 2020

A phenom at 22, nearly out of baseball at 23, Roy Halladay bounced back to become one of the dominant pitchers of the 2000s before injuries derailed his career. Along the way, he earned two Cy Young awards and pitched a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter. Todd Zolecki joins us to discuss the remarkable, tragic story of a pitcher who was groomed for greatness. 

Jun 30, 2020

Emily Nemens joins us to discuss her debut novel, which tells the story of one spring training for the fictional Los Angeles Lions. From superstar slugger Jason Goodyear to a middle-aged divorcée Tamara Rowland and aging organist Lester Morrow, meet the people whose lives revolve around the national pastime each February and March. 

Jun 23, 2020

Before there was the Little League World Series, there was the Little World Series, played at Cleveland's League Park in 1941. Author Ruth Hanford Morhard joins us to talk about the remarkable story of a single mother who pioneered youth baseball in the years before World War II. 

Click here to see "Bringing Up Baseball," the movie mentioned in the episode. 

Jun 16, 2020

Author Ron Rapoport had numerous conversations with Ernie Banks in anticipation of collaborating on an autobiography with the Hall of Fame slugger. That book never materialized, but Rapoport was able to put those interviews — and more than 100 others — to to use in writing the definitive account of a complicated man who hid behind the legend of Mr. Cub.

Jun 9, 2020

Rod Carew joins us to discuss his legendary career, his troubled childhood and how he was persevered through family tragedy and life-threatening medical problems. The Hall of Famer also gives his thoughts on the state of today's game, racism in baseball and the Cooperstown case for his longtime teammate Tony Oliva.  

Jun 2, 2020

Did Babe Ruth really call his shot? Author Thomas Wolf takes us back to the baseball season of 1932, which included an off-field shooting, a spectacular pennant race and one of the most storied events in baseball history — which may not have happened at all. 

May 27, 2020

Author Kat Williams joins us to discuss the remarkable life of Isabel "Lefty" Alvarez, who came to United States at fifteen, speaking no English, to play professional baseball. Williams take us on a journey from Cuba to the AAGPBL and through years of anonymity and alcoholism before baseball once again gave her life meaning. 

May 19, 2020

Baseball's advanced statistics can be confusing. WAR. FIP. wOBA. wRC. What does it all mean?  Anthony Castrovince joins us to discuss how to make sabermetrics accessible to all fans, even those who are most comfortable with traditional metrics like wins, batting average and RBIs.  

May 12, 2020

In the early days of the 20th century, a group of young immigrants formed the first professional and semi-professional Japanese baseball teams on either side of the Pacific. But for more than a century, the story of these trailblazers had been lost to history. Robert K. Fitts joins us to explain how he unearthed the fascinating  tale of Harry Saisho, Ken Kitsuse, Tom Uyeda and others who made baseball an integral part of the Japanese-American experience. 

May 5, 2020

Three lively Mexican-American communities once stood in the hills that are now home to Dodger Stadium. Author Eric Nusbaum joins us to discuss an incredible story of impassioned immigrants, Red Scare politics and how the dream of baseball in Southern California affected countless lives.

Apr 28, 2020

Jim Bouton was a true baseball revolutionary, challenging a conservative baseball establishment that was desperately trying to keep a changing world at bay. Mitchell Nathanson joins us to discuss the extraordinary life and legacy of the man who wrote "Ball Four" and did so much more.

Apr 24, 2020

The anchoring effect. Outcome bias. The sunk-cost fallacy. Keith Law, senior writer for The Athletic, joins us to discuss how psychological and economic principals can help us understand baseball — and vice versa.

Apr 21, 2020

After the Nationals started the 2019 season 19-30, nobody gave them much of a shot to even make the playoffs. But led by a veteran pitching staff and some exciting young stars, Washington rebounded to win the World Series for the first time in franchise history. Washington Post reporter Jesse Dougherty, who was there to see it all, joins us to discuss the Nats' improbable run. 

Apr 17, 2020

From Cape Cod to Alaska and many places in between, Will Geoghegan spent a summer visiting the nation's wood bat collegiate leagues. The author joins us to discuss his journey and explain why so many fans fall in love with baseball at this level. 

Apr 14, 2020

From the MLB Draft to international academies, the role of scouting in baseball has evolved considerably since the days of "Moneyball." Kiley McDaniel and Eric Logenhagen take us on a deep dive into the modern world of talent evaluation and player development. 

Apr 10, 2020

From the streets of St. Louis to the beaches of Normandy to a spot behind home plate at Yankee Stadium, Yogi Berra became a baseball immortal and an American icon. Author Jon Pessah joins us to discuss his new, definitive biography of the legendary Bronx Bomber catcher. 

Apr 7, 2020

Brad Balukjian opened a pack of 1986 Topps baseball cards and then embarked on a road trip across the United States to search for the players on the cards. Join us as the author describes his quest to find stars like Carlton Fisk and Dwight Gooden as well as lesser lights like Rance Mullinicks and Jaime Cocanower. 

Apr 3, 2020

In 1980, baseball's most controversial and colorful manager took over the lowly Oakland A's. The result was a tumultuous three-season reign that may well have saved baseball in Oakland. Author Dale Tafoya joins us to discuss the era of Billy Martin, Rickey Henderson and Charlie Finely. 

Mar 31, 2020

Baseball fans are living in the age of the home run, with new records being obliterated seemingly every year. Author Jared Diamond joins us to discuss how a revolutionary rethinking of the traditional baseball swing has transformed the way the game is played, with more strikeouts, longer games and fewer balls in play.

Mar 27, 2020

Author Jacob Kornhauser joins us to discuss the stories of eleven men who played in just a single major league baseball game and how it affected their lives. From Larry Yount to Jeff Banister to Ron Wright, here are the heirs to Moonlight Graham.

Mar 24, 2020

What's in a name? To author D.B. Firstman, everything. From Johnny Dickshot and Drungo Hazewood to Biff Pocoroba and Dorsey Riddlemoser, Firstman takes us on an magical moniker tour of baseball's best and most unusual names. 

Mar 16, 2020

For the first time, Baseball by the Book goes on the road. Host Justin McGuire moderates a three-author panel at the NINE Conference in Tempe, Ariz. Joins authors James Brunson, Jeremy Beer and Ron Rapoport as they discuss the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues and talk about the best books on black baseball. 

Mar 10, 2020

You've seen "A League of Their Own," now get the rest of the story. Author and illustrator Anika Orrock shares with us the amazing story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Find more of the author's work at anikaorrock.com.

Mar 3, 2020

MLB Network host Bill Ripken is not a fan of analytics, to say the least. The former major league infielder joins us to discuss his thoughts on WAR, OPS, pitcher wins, launch angle and more. Plus, Ripken discusses his late father, legendary Orioles coach Cal Ripken Sr.

Feb 25, 2020

Smoky Joe Wood was one of the most remarkable players of baseball's deadball era, putting together a legendary career as a pitcher and outfielder in just 11 seasons. Author Gerald Wood joins us to discuss his award-winning biography of Wood.

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