Baseball season may be coming to close soon—but with these great fall books—the games continue in full swing!
Baseball is set apart from other sports by many things, but few are more distinctive than the intricate systems of coded language that govern action on the field and give baseball its unique appeal. During a nine‑inning game, more than one thousand silent instructions are given—from catcher to pitcher, coach to batter, fielder to fielder, umpire to umpire—and without this speechless communication the game would simply not be the same. In The Hidden Language of Baseball (September), historian Paul Dickson examines the rich legacy of baseball’s language, offering fans everywhere a smorgasbord of history and anecdote. In this revised and expanded edition through the 2018 season, Dickson discusses recent developments and incidents, including the illegal use of new technology to swipe signs. A roster of baseball’s greatest names and games, past and present, echoes throughout, making The Hidden Language of Baseball a unique window on the history of our national pastime.
In the words of Joe DiMaggio, the 1947 World Series was “the most exciting ever.” The seven intense games between the mighty New York Yankees and the underdog Brooklyn Dodgers were packed with a decade worth of drama, and spectacle. The first ever televised World Series, it was nicknamed “Electric October” by sportswriters. For all the star power on display, the outcome of the series hinged on a handful of role players. In Electric October (October), Kevin Cook brings the ’47 Series back to life, introducing us to these men whose past offered no hint they were destined for extraordinary things. For some the Series was a memory to hold onto. For others it would haunt them to the end of their days. And for us Cook offers new insights—some heartbreaking, some uplifting—into what fame and glory truly mean.
Publishers Weekly dubbed this new biography “a solid hit for baseball historians and fans alike.”
Buck O’Neil once described him as “Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Tris Speaker rolled into one.” Among experts he is regarded as the best player in Negro Leagues history. During his prime he became a legend in Cuba and one of black America’s most popular figures. Yet even among serious sports fans, Oscar Charleston is virtually unknown today. In a long career spanning from 1915 to 1954, Charleston played against, managed, befriended, and occasionally fought baseball legends. He displayed tremendous power, speed, and defensive instincts along with a fierce intelligence and commitment to his craft. Charleston’s competitive fire sometimes brought him trouble, but more often it led to victories, championships, and profound respect. Jeremy Beer’s Oscar Charleston (November) introduces readers to one of America’s greatest and most fascinating athletes. While Charleston never played in the Major Leagues, he was a trailblazer who became the first black man to work as a scout for a Major League team. His mastery of the quintessentially American sport under the conditions of segregation revealed what was possible for black achievement, bringing hope to millions.