If you’ve been keeping up with my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard about my first book, but in case you haven’t, it’s called How to Snag Major League Baseballs. It came out in 1999. It’s old news.
The NEW news is that I have another baseball book coming out in just a few months, and it has nothing to do with snagging. (Take THAT, Playboy.) It’s going to be called Watching Baseball Smarter, and it’s basically a guide to watching/understanding/appreciating/loving the sport.
I know that might sound a bit generic, but it’s not. Trust me. The book is going to be fun…I mean, it’s already fun. And informative. And well-rounded. It covers history and strategy. It explains the basics and the esoteric. There are anecdotes and statistics and quirky footnotes. There’s trivia. There’s a whole section on why guys are always grabbing their crotches. And there’s plenty of serious stuff, too…stuff about pitching, hitting, base running, fielding, umpires, uniform numbers, stadiums, steroids, superstitions, salaries, surgeries, and so much more. There’s also an extensive glossary of baseball slang. (Anyone know what a “courtesy trot” is? And while we’re at it, do you know the origin of the Baltimore Chop? Or the story of the only player to pitch ambidextrously more than once? Can you name the ten switch-hitters in the Hall of Fame? Do you know how exactly the catcher might change his signs when there’s a runner on second base? Or the difference between a splitter and a forkball? How about when the single earflap became a required addition for batting helmets? Did you know that in the 1870s, the batter could request a high or low pitch and that the umpire could ask the spectators for help if he missed a play? This is all very important.)
Anyway, the idea is that this book is written by a fan FOR FANS, not by a former player siphoned through a ghost writer, or by some stuffy announcer who’s trapped in the broadcast booth, or by a stats geek who only sees the game as a reflection in his calculator.
FYI, the Publisher is Vintage, and the book is scheduled to come out in March of 2007. I hope you’ll look for it. And in the meantime, I hope you won’t mind if I provide updates here and there. (I met my editor two days ago for the first time!) I just found out about this a few weeks ago, so I’m still *really* excited.