Sunday, May 19, 2013

'501,' the sequel?

I've been receiving some nice emails from readers who both agree and disagree with my choices. In this case, Jim Delaney makes several good ones of his own and he was kind enough to let me share his thoughts.
Hi Ron! What a nice job you did with 501! It offered good ideas on a variety of topics, as well as reminding me of books from the past which made it off the Great Pile. I was very happy to see amongst the 501 the Allen and Flood autobiographies, Only the Ball Was White (which led to a SABR article) as well as newer gems such as the Japanese baseball card book.
I did feel that the bio/history sections were a bit over-represented by the NY-BST axis. This was my main critique of the Burns’ series. However, whenever I read criticism of his work, I think that folks can’t forget that the documentaries are his vision, and if you’d like something else in there, well, make your own! Likewise, this work is your vision and I respect all of the hard work.
What would I include? Only a few suggestions, because, again, it is not my book. As a Cardinals fan (and my vision will be colored by that)I think a trio of Musial bios are worthy, those by Giglio, Vescey and Broeg. In addition, Bob Gibson and Lonnie Wheeler’s Stranger to the Game, and Bill White’s Uppity are good.
YOUTH/INSTRUCTIONAL: Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki (small, illustrated book on the internment); My Secrets of Playing Baseball by Willie Mays (lots of photos and used to hone my great B. Ruth League career); The Story of Baseball by John Rosenburg.
ILLUSTRATED: Baseball Americana from the Library of Congress and The Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History by Phil Dixon; Topps Baseball Cards 1951-1985 by Warner Books (fronts only, unfortunately, but 2 pages of text on each season of play and each set).
MINORS: Bush League by Robert Obojski; Stolen Season by David Lamb.
METS: The Year the Mets Lost Last Place by Dick Schaap and Paul Zimmerman. (one of my few re-reads ever, quite an author duo).
INT’L: Pride of Havana by R.G.Echevarria; Baseball on the Border: A Tale of Two Laredos by Alan Klein; The Tropic of Baseball (D. Rep.) by Rob Ruck; El Beisbol: Travels through the Pan American Pastime by John Krich (I picked this up several years ago at Librarie McGill for $2.99. The book includes the interesting concept of the “end of baseball,” which the author tries to find by going into interior Venezuela. Like you, though not by ancestry, I share an affinity for Montreal. I’ve seen my most big league games in Stade Olympique. From the early 80s until they left I usually made it up there for one Cardinal summer series. The proposed open air downtown park would have been sweet.)
So, not too bad—less than twenty suggestions. Again, enjoyed 501 and enjoy your blog.
Sincerely, Jim Delaney

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