Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Book For Every Season

About three years ago, I picked up a book at a local discount store. At the time the book interested me because it was about the early Chicago Cubs. But it has initiated another collection for me. The book that I picked up about three years ago was “When Chicago Ruled Baseball” by Bernard Weisberger.

Baseball cards tell a part of the story of each season. As a supplement to the baseball cards that I collect, I am now seeking books that cover a particular season. I don’t know whether it is possible to find a book fro every season, but that is the goal of this collection. Many times the books focus on a specific team but often they will discuss the teams involved in a pennant chase and the subsequent World Series. In any case, the books provide additional insight into the players and events of a particular season. Now, three years later, my baseball seasons book collection has reached 21. I will list my current collection. If any readers have suggestions for additional books, please let me know.

1903 – “When Boston Won The World Series”, Bob Ryan

1903 – “Autumn Glory”, Louis Masur

1906 – “When Chicago Ruled Baseball”, Bernard Weisberger

1912 – “The First Fall Classic”, Mike Vaccaro

1918 – “1918 Babe Ruth and The World Champion Boston Red Sox”, Allan Wood

1921 – “1921”, Lyle Spratz

1934 – “The Gashouse Gang”, John Heidenry

1935 – “September Streak”, Doug Feldman

1948 – “Epic Season”, David Kaiser

1951 - “The Echoing Green”, Joshua Prager

1959 – “59, Summer of the Sox”, Bob Vanderberg

1960 – “1960, The Last Pure Season”, Kerry Keene

1964 – “October 1964”, David Halberstam

1965 – “Cool of the Evening”, Jim Thielman

1966 – “Black and Blue”, Tom Adelman

1967 – “Rico Petrocelli, Tales From The Impossible Dream”, Rico Petrocelli

1969 – “The Cubs of ‘69”, Rick Talley

1969 – “The Greatest Team That Didn’t Win, Durocher’s Cubs”, David Claerbaut

1975 – “1975, The Boys of October”, Doug Hornig

1984 – “84, The Last of the Great Tigers”, Eli Zaret

2008 – “Sweet Lou and the Cubs”, George Castle

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Time When I Was A Pirates Fan

There was a short time that I abandoned Aparicio and the White Sox. That was during the 1960 World Series and for very good reason. I become one of the many fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates who had won the National League pennant and were trying to best the mighty New York Yankees.

This may have been a pre-cursor to my switch to the Cubs in the early 1970’s. Certainly no one with any sense thought that the Pirates could beat the Yankees led by Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Whitey Ford. Anyone who believed in the 1960 Pirates would be qualified to be a die hard Cubs fan.

In the end, the 1960 World Series came down to a deciding 7th game. When Bill Mazeroski came to bat in the bottom of the ninth, the game was tied at 9. With one swing Mazeroski hit a home run to win the game and the series for the Pirates.

I know that I was listening to the broadcast on radio. October 13, 1960 was a Thursday. I was a 7th grader at Elwood Haynes Junior High School in Kokomo, Indiana. My memory of exactly where I was at 3:30 PM that day is a bit fuzzy. I may have been on the school bus coming home from school when Mazeroski hit the home run to end the game.

I have several items pertaining to this game on the walls of my office/hobby room. These items in clued a color copy of the World Series Program, the very familiar photo from behind home plate that captures Mazeroski’s swing that launched the ball to left field and two baseball cards featuring Mazeroski and the home run. These were all posted on October 19, 2009 in this blog. Go to my older posts to check these items out.

I have another photo that I did not put in the earlier post. The photo came from a friend who grew up in the Pittsburgh area. The photo features the entire 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates team. Although the photo has a few wrinkles, it makes a great addition to my collection.

I continued to follow the Pirates after 1960 but my favorite team was still the White Sox. That was at least until 1975 when I switched to the Red Sox. But again that is another story for another post.