Read into this: 30 baseball book reviews in the 30 days of April, ’19 comes with some revisionist history

By Tom Hoffarth
First off, behold a shelf of baseball books above from the magnificent Austin Public Library, on Cesar Chavez Blvd., right along the Colorado River in Austin, Tex.
1280px-Austin_public_library_opened_October_28_2017We were there on business recently and did the tour of this famed book depository to see what it had stocked. Aside from the architectural beauty of it, there was a beauty of a baseball book collection on the sixth floor (learn your Dewey Decimal system, folks … or at least Google it).
Seriously, as cool as Austin is, the library is one of its best secrets.
So …
What’s old is often new in baseball’s annual rite of literary passage each spring. It’s never shy of more rewrites.
To get a clear read on why book publishers put on their straw hat and usher back Major League Baseball with dozens of new titles, note that all sorts of revisionist history, personality-driven essays or bios that exhume new previously untold info resonate best with those who’ve endured a long, cold winter. Same with anything that takes good-natured digs to keep America’s Pastime part of the pop culture conversation.

NEW.Thompson.books

Our weekly L.A. Times sports media column starts off April 1 without trying to fool anyone: We’ve got some quick-hit reviews on more than a half-dozen new baseball books out this spring (and coming up).

During the entire month of April on FartherOffTheWall.com, we revive our annual baseball book review, one a day, and will update this post with the growing list.

Check out our entrance velocity:
9781598536126* April 1: “Great American Baseball Stories,” edited by Jeff Silverman; “The Great American Sports Page: A Century of Classic Columns from Ring Lardner to Sally Jenkins,” edited by John Schulian, and “No Place I Would Rather Be: Roger Angell and a Life in Baseball Writing,” by Joe Bonomo
81H2vsGIA+L* April 2: “Game Faces: Early Baseball Cards from Library of Congress” by Peter Devereaux and “Baseball Card Vandals: Over 200 Decent Jokes on Worthless Cards!” by brothers Beau and Bryan Abbott of
* April 3: “Now Taking The Field: Baseball’s All Time Dream Teams for All 30 Franchises,” by Tom Stone.
* April 4: “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar, by Jay Paris
* April 5: “Here’s the Pitch: The Amazing, True, New, and Improved Story of Baseball and Advertising,” by Roberta J. Newman
* April 6: “Mrs. Morhard and The Boys: One Mother’s Vision … The First Boys’ Baseball League … A Nation Inspired,” by Ruth Hansford Morhard
71iNKCsPGeL* April 7:  “Scouting And Scoring: How We Know What We Know About Baseball,” by Christopher J. Phillips
* April 8: “They Bled Blue: Fernandomania, Strike-Season Mayhem, and the Weirdest Championship Baseball Had Ever Seen: The 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers,” by Jason Turnbow (you’ll have to wait until June)
* April 9: “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game,” by Ron Darling, with Daniel Paisner
81XIRP5mUML* April 10: “K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches,” by Tyler Kepner
* April 11: “Pastime Lost: The Humble, Original and Now Completely Forgotten Game of English Baseball,” by David Block
613+BarriSL* April 12: “Strike Four: The Evolution of Baseball” by Richard Hershberger
* April 13: “Unwritten: Bat Flips, the Fun Police and Baseball’s New Future,” by Danny Knobler
* April 14: “Let’s Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, the Life of Ernie Banks” by Ron Rapoport  and “Let’s Play Two: The Life and Times of Ernie Banks” by Doug Wilson
* April 15: “Reclaiming 42: Public Memory and the Reframing of Jackie Robinson’s Radical Legacy” by David Naze

A break in between all this to get in some TV exposure via Spectrum News 1’s “L.A. Times Today” show with Lisa McRee:

* April 16: “The Untold Story: Fidel Castro and Baseball” by Peter C. Bjarkman and “Last Seasons in Havana: The Castro Revolution and the End of Professional Baseball in Cuba” by Cesar Brioso
91N0IF5NGPL* April 17: “The Game of Eating Smart: Nourishing Recipes for Peak Performance Inspired by MLB Superstars” by Julia Loria and Allen Campbell
* April 18: “Edgar: An Autobiography” by Edgar Martinez, with Larry Stone
51biS4hqVaL* April 19: “Baseball Epic: Famous and Forgotten Lives of the Dead Ball Era” with words and pictures by Jason Novak
* April 20: “They Played The Game: Memories from 47 Major Leaguers” by Norman L. Macht
* April 21: “Ballpark: Baseball in the American City” by Paul Goldberger
* April 22: “Inside the Empire: The True Power Behind the New York Yankees” by Bob Klapish and Paul Solotaroff (along with “Chumps to Champs: How the Worst Teams in Yankees History Led to the ‘90s Dynasty,” by Bill Pennington; “Almost Yankees: The Summer of ’81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You’ve Never Heard Of,” by J. David Herman; “Mantle: The Best There Ever Was,” by Tony Castro; “My Dad, Yogi: A Memoir of Family and Baseball by Dale Berra; and “Doc, Donnie, the Kid, and Billy Brawl: How the 1985 Mets and Yankees Fought for New York’s Baseball Soul” by Chris Donnelly
91TCtdnavnL* April 23: “Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink” by Kevin Cook
71e5kd7-O0L* April 24: “The Legendary Harry Caray: Baseball’s Greatest Salesman” by Don Zmida
* April 25: “They Said It Couldn’t Be Done: The ’69 Mets, New York City, and the Most Astounding Season in Baseball History” by Wayne Coffey; “After the Miracle: The Lasting Brotherhood of the ’69 Mets” by Art Shamsky with Erik Sherman; “Here’s the Catch: A Memoir of the Miracle Mets and More” by Ron Swoboda; “The Miracle of 1969: How the New York Mets Went from Lovable Losers to World Series Champions” by Coutinho Rich
* April 26: “Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher” by David Cone with Jack Curry
* April 27: “Left on Base in the Bush Leagues: Legends, Near Greats and Unknowns in the Minors” by Gaylon H. White
* April 28: “For the Good of the Game: The Inside story of the Surprising and Dramatic Transformation of Major League Baseball” by Bud Selig with Phil Rogers and “Play Hungry: The Making of a Baseball Player” by Pete Rose
9780190928186_p0_v1_s600x595* April 29: “When the Crowd Didn’t Roar: How Baseball’s Strangest Game Ever Gave a Broken City Hope” by Kevin Cowherd
* April 30: “Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark” by Alva Noe

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