Catching Up

Bresnahan, catcher, New York (NL)

As it’s been a month or eight since I last updated the site, here’s a roundup of goings on and publications and conversations since I last opened the WordPress editor:

  • For the book recommendation site Shepherd I compiled a list of books that master the trick of placing baseball in a broader historical context
  • For the SABR baseball card research committee blog I wrote about why it can be tempting to not open a pack of baseball cards
  • Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf is a great online repository of publications about the game; I spoke to Ron himself about The Only Way Is the Steady Way, The Utility of Boredom, kids, the Blue Jays, the rules of collecting ballcaps, and more
  • Despite being Yankees fans, the folks over at Start Spreading the News turn out to be nice people, and I spoke to them about Ichiro, how I’d “fix” baseball, etc.

Recent Stuff

Gary Carter shows off his stance in Japan, an image unrelated to this post

The Only Way Is the Steady Way is the Word On the Street Book of the Month for June. I spoke to author/philosopher/professor/Blue Jays fan Mark Kingwell for their Book Talk feature. You can find our conversation here.

For the Pandemic Baseball Book Club I spoke to Dale Jacobs and Heidi LM Jacobs about their book 100 Miles of Baseball: Fifty Games, 1 Summer. Listen here (or wherever you get your podcasts), or watch here.

I was a guest on the Jays From Home podcast with Ottawa’s own Matt and Steve Gower. Listen here (or wherever…).

A Conversation Between Authors

Thanks to the unifying power of the Pandemic Baseball Book Club, I had the chance to sit down (virtually) with Devin Gordon (author of the wonderful, sad, funny, and beautiful So Many Ways to Lose: The Amazin’ True Story of the New York Mets — The Best Worst Team in Sports) to talk about The Only Way Is the Steady Way. Devin did a deep, thorough read of the book and came ready with some great questions.

You can watch the conversation on video here (or by clicking the image above), or listen in podcast form at Anchor.fm (or anywhere you get podcasts).

Opening Day Book News Roundup

We here in Ontario are about to go into another lockdown, and the air outside my window is adance with snow flurries, but it’s Opening Day, damn it, and so we rejoice and find gladness in the promise of a new season. Tomorrow, April 2, is the official publication date of The Only Way Is the Steady Way, so chosen because it’s also the twentieth anniversary of Ichiro’s MLB debut. It’s also the fifth anniversary of the publication of The Utility of Boredom. That one was a coincidence, but it’s still worth noting. Regarding the former, there have been some developments—articles, appearances, etc.—that I’ll endeavour to round up here:

  • I appeared on a recent episode of Justin McGuire’s Baseball By the Book podcast (listen to it here or anywhere you get your podcasts)

That’s it for now, but there’ll be a lot more stuff in the near future, including interviews and podcasts. Stay tuned.

In Memoriam NY-Penn League (1939-2020)

IMAGE CREDIT: SHAWN DOWD/DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE VIA IMAGN CONTENT SERVICES, LLC

In ways both literal and figurative the New York-Penn League was born on Main St. and died on Park Ave. Conceived in 1939 in Batavia, New York’s Hotel Richmond (which sat, before demolition, on Main Street), it was the longest continuously operating Class A league left when it was among those low-rung circuits summarily executed by the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, headquartered at 245 Park Ave, Manhattan.

“In Memoriam NY-Penn League (1939-2020),” for Baseball Prospectus

The Only Way Is the Steady Way

You do this for long enough, and you begin to crave originality like a desert wanderer craves cool clear water. Andrew Forbes’s essays are cool and clear and may well slake the thirst of any thinking baseball fan.

—Rob Neyer, author of Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game

The Only Way Is the Steady Way: Essays on Baseball, Ichiro, and How We Watch the Game will be available April 2 from Invisible Publishing, but you can pre-order it now.

The Grandyman Could

I’m not a Mets fan but in New York I’ll cheer for the Mets every time. The Mets are a philosophy in every way opposed to Yankeeness, diametrically so. The relationship between these two entities is schismatic, a fundamental divergence on matters related to the very essence of being.

Curtis Granderson is among that select group of players who’ve negotiated the sale of their labor to both organizations, so he’s got some insight into the duality of human experience. He knows: while it’s certainly more luxurious to be a Yankee fan or player, being in consortium with the Mets teaches you the same thing that you learn if you live long enough on this planet: true love travels on a gravel road.

“The Grandyman Could,” for Boog City #137: The Baseball Issue