Everyone’s talking about the new book The League of Outsider Baseball: An Illustrated History of Baseball’s Forgotten Heroes by Gary Cieradkowski.
Immediately, I see a reader out there. The book jacket bio begins “…is an artist…”
Important: Gary is all that. And more!
Yes, the art is beautiful. However, this man can write, too. He evokes the style and lingo for write-ups you’d find on old tobacco cards.
Of course, he has a graphic art flair in creating his own take on tobacco cards. He finds baseball ties in the most unlikely places, even commemorating Frank Sinatra, football’s George “Papa Bear” Halas and author Jack Kerouac.
Back to the book:
Gary shared a love of baseball with his father. The two would swap obscure tales from baseball’s past, unearthing trivia exposing baseball names large and small. When dad died in 2009, Gary started a blog, Infinite Card Set, posting new art and new stories. Kindred spirits found Gary, and a new baseball history tradition took root.
The book will get the most devout fan through a long off-season. Stories are fast-paced, funny, sometimes poignant and always well-researched. Even after all 233 pages, a fan would get endless hours of joy studying Gary’s depiction of players, real and imagined.
The back cover notes that Gary created graphics for Oriole Park at Camden Yards. After this book, expect teams and card companies to fight for the services of this insightful, creative artist-author. Thankfully, we all have the Infinite Card Set online, keeping us content until a sequel appears.