Baseball Books: Coming Attractions

As you’ve seen, I’m seeking good books.

Here are three awaiting reviews from me:

The Juju Rules, by Hart Seely (a great look at being a rabid Yankees fan!)

Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees, From Before The Babe To After the Boss, by Marty Appel

Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest For Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball, by R.A. Dickey

I’m reading each title for hobby content. Are there autograph insights? How are fans treated? What anecdotes would mean the most to a collector?

Most of all, is the book honest? Is it a fun title to read?

Publishers and publicists: If you have a current baseball title, let me know.

Coming Wednesday: Memories from former Cardinal and Phillie Jim Lindeman

A Pep Talk For Baseball & Autograph Bloggers

This is a special aside for all the bloggers out there.

Wait! This isn’t baseball-related. Is it?

I think it is. Every week, I find more hobby blogs abandoned. Shipwrecked. Likewise, I encounter wise hobbyists who don’t think their insight and opinions matter.

Hugh MacLeod is our cheerleader. A sometimes-shocking one, but a needed voice in blogdom. I subscribe to his daily cartoons. He began his artful career drawing on the backs of abandoned business cards. Without his 10-year-old blog (found at MacLeod insists his current gig wouldn’t be possible.

In his book Freedom Is blogging in Your Underwear, Hugh shares some classic cartoons. He drops a couple of F-bombs, flashing a bit of salty language, but makes some clear points.

Try. Share your voice.

MacLeod has written a love letter to the blog. He feels we can each savor a slice of the blogosphere pie, as long as we bake it ourself.

The book is NOT a how-to manual or textbook. At just 117 pages, you’ll find the title is a one-sitting breeze. His chapters read like quickie blog posts.

His cartoons sparkle with snarky reality, as MacLeod reminds us why NOT to blog.

In one scene, he shows a blogger proclaiming:

“My last blog post was re-tweeted 475 times…”

A second character appears with a bag of money. “Fantastic! Here’s five million dollars!”

The book would be worthwhile simply through his three short chapters:

1. The Internet is a Miracle
2. The Best Thing About the Internet is the People You Meet
3. Now Quit Your Yappin ‘ – GO MAKE STUFF

MacLeod is strong coffee for bloggers and the cyber-wannabes. Freedom is just what we need. Blog on!

Missing Kansas City A’s Glenn Cox

How much did this uncut sheet
sell for? The auctioneers at
Robert Edwards Auctions
hit a home run with this lot
from the first-year KC Athletics!

Thanks to the eagle-eyed readers who saved me. As I sought former 1950 Kansas City A’s to write to, I overlooked one sad fact: Glenn Cox passed away in January.

However, he left a legacy. Cox wrote a 2009 book The Way The Game Was Played.

I found an able substitute, catcher Jim Robertson. He migrated from the 1954 Philadelphia Athletics to the 1955 club in Kansas City.

I’ve wanted to find out from any first-year players if they knew what a treasure the Rodeo Meats team set was.

Most of all, I wanted to point out the importance of hobby buddies. Sharing information is one of the secrets to prospering as a collector.

Seeking 1950s Kansas City A’s Storytellers

Did the pitcher ever sign
“Buddy” autographs?

I’m looking for more Tom Harrisons.

The 1965 Kansas City Athletics pitcher got me thinking. Who are the colorful 1950s KC alums?

That spurred me to dig out some old rosters from 1955-59. I wasn’t looking for A’s Hall of Famers, but dependable signers who might have some classic stories. Here are the 10 I chose to get letters:

Joe Astroth
Mike Baxes
Glenn Cox
Bud Daley
Alex George
Ken Johnson
Lou Klimchock
Bob Martyn
Rance Pless
Jim Small

Stay tuned!

Moe Drabowsky’s Smelly 1965 Season

A great signer until
his 2006 passing.

Thanks again to Tom Harrison, 1965 Kansas City Athletics pitcher, who shared a bonus story when I wrote to him.

“One quick story about Moe Drabowsky. After spring training, the whole team had to fly to KC and have our cars driven to KC by paid drivers. From the KC airport, four of us shared a cab to downtown KC hotel, where we had to stay until we found an apartment.

On that ride were Joe Rudi, Catfish Hunter, Moe Drabowsky and myself. Joe sat up front.

Just before we got to the hotel, Moe leaned over the front seat, pulled out a little bottle of sulfur (rotten eggs) and placed a couple of drops between Joe and the driver.

Slowly, the driver turned to Joe with a ‘I can’t believe you did that’ expression. No words spoken.

Then in the hotel, on the elevator (a crowded elevator) Moe did the same thing. Now, instead of just the driver, you had some 6 or 7 people with that ‘I can’t believe someone did that’ expression. I was trying to make myself invisible.

As it turns out, Moe was really a good guy, and very sharp in the stock market. Over the years he has made lots of money for his baseball friends. He was also a very good big league pitcher who had a memorable year in 1966 with the Orioles and in the World Series against the Dodgers.

I was very sad when he passed away recently.

I hope to tell that same story at our annual banquet in KC June 8-9.”

Coming Wednesday: Writing to former Kansas City A’s…my 10 Most Wanted List.