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 ShepherdI 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.
This Sunday, April 25 at 3:00 p.m. EDT I’ll be officially launching The Only Way Is the Steady Way in a free online event co-presented by Invisible Publishing and the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. I’ll do some readings from the book and be in conversation with Vancouver-based arts champion, music geek, and baseball fan Sean Cranbury. You can register here.
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:
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.
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.
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.