Rosemary Sekora is the publicity manager at UNP and wouldn’t be a very good marketer if she didn’t mention the baseball book sale happening now until April 21.
After high school in Colorado, I decided to attend the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. I had never been to Nebraska before—aside from a few college visits—and did not know what a Cornhusker was until I was well into my undergraduate career. I knew that football was the driving force of the university and state, and that I would never live in Lincoln after college. Only the former remains true.
If you do a quick Google search on what the state of Nebraska is known for, you get some excellent fun facts. For example, did you know that Hastings (less than 100 miles from Lincoln) is the birth place of Kool-Aid? Or that Arbor Day started in Nebraska? We also have the largest indoor rainforest at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and the University of Nebraska State Museum houses the tallest mammoth fossil on display anywhere in the world. And it’s estimated that on football game days in Lincoln the population of the city nearly doubles.
What doesn’t populate that Google search, however, is that Nebraska is also the home of a publishing house with a robust line of baseball books. Yes, baseball (not football), and yes, books (real books). Here at the University of Nebraska Press we like to acknowledge that we are the largest publisher located between Chicago and California. We publish about 150 new books every year and every spring the seasonal catalog includes baseball history, baseball memoir, baseball biography, and sometimes a combination of all three.
While we aren’t Kool-Aid-famous, we are known to baseball fans who are readers. The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) awards our books with its top prizes, the Wall Street Journal gives our books glowing reviews, and even George F. Will once wrote that “there is a special place in Heaven—or in Cooperstown, which is much the same thing—for the University of Nebraska Press, which continues to enrich our understanding of baseball history.” Maybe baseball books can become our Kool-Aid, perhaps they already have.
So with that, start spreading the news—we have THE baseball books! Award-winning, eye-opening, extra-innings-worthy amounts of stuff! Especially now with the MLB season postponed, we could all use a baseball-book pick-me-up (if that’s your thing). As soon as the temperature hits 65 degrees in Lincoln, I’ll be outside with a book, a beer, and a stadium-style hot dog—pretending that I’m at Yankee Stadium celebrating another victory.