Belated Pitch for Baseball Books

By Cooper, Brian | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), April 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Belated Pitch for Baseball Books


Cooper, Brian, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


During the winter, Jim Swenson, TH Media's features editor and former sports editor, popped his head into my office and invited me to contribute to a package he was planning for mid-February: Staff members' picks for best baseball books.

I forgot the invitation - is old age setting in? - until I saw the feature publish in the Feb. 14 edition.

Anyway, because I feel guilty about the missed assignment and because I have written a couple of baseball biographies myself (Dubuque County native Red Faber and Ray Schalk, Hall of Fame battery-mates for the Chicago White Sox), I thought I would offer my list now, as the 2014 regular season gets into full swing.

* Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, by Jane Leavy (HarperCollins, 2002). Opens a window into the career of perhaps the most reclusive of American sports stars. Leavy's research and writing are outstanding.

* October 1964, by David Halberstam (Villard, 1994). An expert and in-depth telling - weaving sports AND history - of a turning point in the timeline of professional baseball. The veteran New York Yankees, fading in the last season of their dynasty, try to hold off the up-and-coming, high-energy St. Louis Cardinals

* Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life, by Richard Ben Cramer (Simon and Schuster, 2000). The achievements and the legend of an exalted player who comes off as a less-than-heroic figure. …

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