Books about the business and businesspeople of baseball are becoming more available these days; I devote a whole chapter on the topic in 501 Baseball Books.
I think fans tend to forget that the people who run baseball aren’t born to the position. Just like everybody, they grow into the job, based on years of experience. One of the more talked abut titles this year — for various reasons — is Steve Kettmann’s Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets. Kettmann starts with Alderson’s military career as a major point in explaining the veteran executive’s philosophy, expectations, and strategies. Alderson was with the Oakland As and was Billy Beane’s mentor at the dawn of the Moneyball era.
Kettmann has written his own books; worked as a ghostwriter, notably for Jose Canseco’s memoir Juiced; and served as an editor for a Game Time: A Baseball Companion, a compilation of Roger Angell’s New Yorker essays. I spoke with Kettmann last week about the varying degrees of difficulties in the disparate projects.
Kettman and Alderson will be at the Yogi Berra Museum in Little Falls, NJ, on Saturday, April 18 from 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Cost is $30 (includes book, admission and one guest). To RSVP call (973) 655-2378. Maybe I’ll see you there. For you west coasters who can’t make it to Jersey, he’ll be at Books Inc. in Alameda in the 22nd. More info on that one here.
Click here for more information about Baseball Maverick.
The Bookshelf Conversation: Steve Kettmann