Despite the threats of snow and the cruelly low temperatures, my favorite sign of spring arrived a few weeks ago. No three words were ever sweeter to my ear than "Pitchers and catchers", followed by a date—this marks the very beginning of spring training! It's only a matter of weeks until the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks face off in Australia on March 22nd to kick off the 2014 regular season. Fantasy baseball nerds like me are studying rosters, joining mock drafts, selecting keepers, and getting ready to craft their own team.
Here are some of my favorite non-fiction baseball reads to go with my favorite time of year! What are your favorites? Please leave suggestions in the comments section!
The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets beneath the Stitches by Zack Hample
Beyond the trivia about the object at the of America's pasttime, the real beauty of this book is the section about catching foul balls and home runs. Hample's primer on ballhawking works! Behold the evidence!
Pinstripe Empire by Marty Appel
This year-by-year history of the New York Yankees is exhaustively researched, but a suprisingly quick read. Appel, once the Yankees' director of PR, combines his insider's knowledge with a fan's awe of the game. Particularly fascinating to me is the interplay between NYC history and this storied franchise. (Did you know that one of the original owners of the Yankees was infamous police chief "Wild Bill" Devery?)
The Juju Rules by Hart Seely
Seely is the mastermind behind one of my favorite baseball blogs, the loopy, irreverent, It Is High, It Is Far, It Is... Caught (anyone who listens to Yankees radio broadcasts should get a kick out of the URL). Juju is part memoir and part call to arms—fans should be helping their teams win from the couch. Unlike with "The Baseball", I don't have any photographic evidence that it works...but if you believe it does, that's half the battle!