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baseball fiction anyone?

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1Mantra
Nov 10, 2006, 1:58pm Top

Does anyone read baseball fiction?
I love/read/collect baseball fiction, everything from things like the Chip Hilton series to fiction that baseball is not the main focus but plays a part. Of course Roth's The Great American Novel is the all-time best!

Dan

2KromesTomes
Nov 10, 2006, 3:34pm Top

I'm a big baseball fan, but bookwise, I usually stick to bios ... I look at them as if they were big baseball cards ... I haven't found too much fiction that I like because it usually seems too "fake" ... which is why I DID really enjoy The Great American Novel ... it didn't try to be a "real" look at MLB ... Sometimes you see it coming by Kevin Baker wasn't too bad ... Baker's a pretty good writer ... and I enjoyed The natural by Bernard Malamud ... a lot different from the movie ... if you consider Underworld by Don DeLillo a baseball book, I give my thumbs up to that, too.

3myshelves
Nov 10, 2006, 4:48pm Top

How about the mysteries by Troy Soos?

4bostonian71
Nov 11, 2006, 9:49pm Top

I really enjoyed The Natural -- haven't seen the movie because I object to the story being changed so much. I also liked Summerland by Michael Chabon (good for fans of fantasy) and This is Next Year by Philip Goldberg (good for non-fans of the Yankees).

5bostonhistory
Nov 12, 2006, 1:04pm Top

I really enjoyed The Iowa Baseball Confederacy by William Kinsella and Fielder's Choice is a great introduction to a variety of writers of baseball fiction.

6bluemcduff
Dec 30, 2006, 10:25pm Top

Boston, you're my kind of guy--I loved the Iowa Baseball Confederacy and am a huge Kinsella fan in general.

My favorite among his short stories is Japanese Baseball and Other Stories for the fact that it's a departure from the kinds of situations that he uses in his other books.

Myshelves, I've read the Troy Soos mysteries and I wish there were more of them. A few years ago I bought Hanging Curve as a gift for my uncle.

Check out my library as I've got a few books on the history of the game itself.

7languagehat
Jan 18, 2007, 10:09am Top

This thread may be dead, but in case anyone drops by I can't leave without putting in a plug for the best baseball novels I know, Mark Harris's The Southpaw and Bang the Drum Slowly. Other good ones: Eric R. Greenberg's The Celebrant and Nancy Willard's Things invisible to see; I liked Robert Coover's The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, prop. when I read it, but that was many years ago, and I'd want to give it another read before recommending it today.

8myshelves
Jan 18, 2007, 11:04am Top

Since you've revived the topic, I'll put in a word for Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop--- a WWII, SF/F baseball novel.

9MikeBriggs
Edited: Feb 12, 2007, 4:12pm Top

- I rather liked the books by Troy Soos, even the non-baseball ones.

- I suppose that I might have liked The Natural better if I had read it before I had seen the movie.

- Sports Fiction in general: was somewhat surprised that there wasn't a group for that topic, then noticed the very small number of books that have been tagged "Sports Fiction."

- Oh, and re: "I'm a big baseball fan" - just want to add that I have season tickets to the lowly Washington Nationals club, so I'm interested in more than just reading.

Here I am, re-starting another "dead" thread :)

10neekeebee
Feb 12, 2007, 4:47pm Top

I am also a huge fan of W.P. Kinsella. The Iowa Baseball Confederacy is one of my favorites. I usually don't read short stories, but I read Kinsella's. The Thrill of the Grass is a great collection.

I read You Gotta Have Wa by Robert Whiting a long time ago, which is a fun look into Japanese baseball. Also, Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin, an autobiographical work, is a wonderful look at the role the Brooklyn Dodgers played in the life of a young girl.

11languagehat
Feb 14, 2007, 6:01pm Top

I have season tickets to the lowly Washington Nationals club

Oh man, I feel for you, as a former fan of the former Senators (the Harmon Killebrew bunch who became the Twins). Have you read The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant? It'll steep you in the local tradition of desperation.

12amancine
Edited: Feb 15, 2007, 9:07am Top

You know, Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella is a wonderful baseball story, in spite of the horrible Kevin Costner movie based on it.

13MikeBriggs
Feb 15, 2007, 9:29am Top

No I hadn't yet. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll look for a copy. Ah good, my library system has 1 copy available in the entire system. I've put it on hold.

14KromesTomes
Feb 15, 2007, 11:08am Top

MikeBriggs: re: the Nats ... as a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan, I've done my share of suffering in recent years ... 119 losses anyone? ... but after 2006, all I can say is never give up hope!

15buddy
Feb 16, 2007, 4:13pm Top

Not fiction, but interesting and enjoyable

Two books by Seth Swirsky

BASEBALL LETTERS: A FAN"S CORRESPONDENCE WITH HIS HEROES

16buddy
Feb 16, 2007, 4:21pm Top

Not fiction but interesting and enjoyable, by Seth Swirsky

BASEBALL LETTERS: A FAN'S CORRESPONDENCE WITH HIS HEROES
EVERY PITCHER TELLS A STORY: LETTERS GATHERED BY A DEVOTED FAN

Seth wrote to many players and many of them answered. Their answers were published exactly as received, warts and all, handwritten or typed, whatever.

There are also little items of player history.

17Linkmeister
Feb 23, 2007, 12:55am Top

Don't forget the wonderful Broadway play Damn Yankees, with the even more wonderful Gwen Verdon as Lola.

I was a (new) Senators fan; we moved to NoVa in 1962 from LA. Quite a comedown to go from the Dodgers to the expansion Nats as my hometown team, I have to say.

18MrsKroeger
Mar 11, 2007, 11:51am Top

i love baseball fiction.i finsished one last week.it was an awesome book called "high heat".

19Linkmeister
Jun 4, 2007, 3:14pm Top

Mark Harris, author of Bang the Drum Slowly, has died.

20Jim53
Jun 4, 2007, 3:50pm Top

Dr. John Kessel, a professor at nearby NCSU and also the author of a wide variety of short stories, wrote a story called "The Franchise," in which the Senators called up a fabulous Cuban pitcher named Fidel Castro.

21myshelves
Jun 4, 2007, 11:24pm Top

Mention of John Kessel's story reminds me of the science fiction baseball novel Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop. The book is set in 1943, and a famous character from literature is playing for a minor league team. Caveat: "spoilers" abound, including in tags. But knowing won't spoil the book.

22DaynaRT
Jun 4, 2007, 11:27pm Top

Science fiction baseball novel?? Me want now!

23myshelves
Jun 5, 2007, 12:06am Top

fleela,

Science fiction, fantasy, . . . I've given up trying to draw the distinctions. Lots of baseball.

There's also Where Garagiola Waits and Other Baseball Stories by Rick Wilber. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds great.

24Mantra
Jun 5, 2007, 11:50am Top

If you want science fiction + baseball, find a copy of Aliens of Summer by Calvin Ross!

25Mantra
Jun 5, 2007, 12:00pm Top

I would also highly recommend Hitting in the Clutch and Homering in the Clutch by Brad Bauer.
VERY funny stuff!

26myshelves
Edited: Jun 6, 2007, 11:50pm Top

I moved "Where Garagiola Waits" to the top of my TBR pile. One of the stories (by Rick Wilber & Ben Bova, also turns out to have Fidel Castro --- pitching to Babe Ruth. :-) Quite a game!

"Aliens of Summer" huh? That sounds interesting! I really liked the baseball bits in Harry Turtledove's WWII "Balance" series.

27MikeBriggs
Jun 14, 2007, 9:52am Top

I found the baseball bits in the Turtledove series to be very interesting and lead me to look for more fiction of that era . . . but couldn't find anything. Closest I could find were the Troy Soos series, but that is earlier in baseball history. Oh, and I recommend the Troy Soos series (though he has an overall author rating of 3.67 on his LT library page).

28MikeBriggs
Jul 25, 2007, 10:48am Top

67 book result in "mashing" the tags Baseball and Mystery. Now if there was some way to save the page as a list so I don't have to spend three hours waiting for it to load :).

5 Book tagged Science Fiction and Baseball? Huh. Didn't I tag the Turtledove books that include baseball, or the Brittle Innings book (thanks again for recommending it).

29varielle
Jul 25, 2007, 10:51am Top

30DromJohn
Jul 25, 2007, 11:06am Top

>11 languagehat:
That reminds be, I have to catalog the Killebrew comic book that I have in my memorbilia collection of my childhood hero. I've always connected my birth in Harmon Killebrew to The Washington Post's announcement that the bonus baby was being sent to the minors.

31DromJohn
Jul 25, 2007, 11:20am Top

32MikeBriggs
Jul 25, 2007, 11:24am Top

Ok, the top 10 for Baseball and Mystery are:

Double play by Robert B. Parker
Murder at Ebbets Field by Troy Soos
The Cincinnati Red stalkings by Troy Soos
Murder at Fenway Park by Troy Soos
Hanging curve by Troy Soos
Strike three you're dead by Richard Dean Rosen
Hunting a Detroit Tiger by Troy Soos
Squeeze Play by Paul Benjamin
The fan by Peter Abrahams
The girl who loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Own all but the last one. Read all but that one plus the Abrahams and the Benjamin books.

Of the top ten of the Baseball, Fiction mashup - only read "The Natural".

33myshelves
Jul 27, 2007, 8:17pm Top

science fiction and baseball gets these 16:

Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop
Polar City Blues by Katharine Kerr
Summerland by Michael Chabon
One king, one soldier by Alexander C. Irvine
Polar City Nightmare by Katharine Kerr
Baseball Fantastic by W. P. Kinsella
The Pitch: The Adventures of Luther Woundup and His Magical Orange Ball by R. A. Cabral
How I Helped the Chicago Cubs (Finally!) Win the World Series by Harper Scott
The Last Western by Thomas S. Klise
Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars by Walter R. Brooks
If I never get back : a novel by Darryl Brock
Aliens of Summer by Calvin Ross
New Atoms' Bomshell by Robert Browne
FLCL, Vol. 01 by Gainax
Right where you are sitting now : further tales of the illuminati by Robert Anton Wilson
Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

34Linkmeister
Edited: Jul 29, 2007, 2:10am Top

The series that Troy Soos writes intrigues me; I've never heard of it.

I Googled around and found an old interview with the author here at Mystery Readers.

I found his website here; evidently he teaches high school physics.

35osodiablo
Edited: Sep 22, 2007, 1:24pm Top

Big fan of The Brothers K by David James Duncan. Infused with baseball and religion. Drags a bit in the middle innings, but the first third is an amazing read.

36TeacherDad
Sep 25, 2007, 2:25am Top

Ok, too many books listed here, gonna take me years to read them all; oh well!

def. recommend Brothers K and for the mystery sub-genre (?) there's The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams....

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