George Gmelch joins us to recount his days as a minor league baseball player in the late 1960s. Now an anthropology professor, Gmelch got to know small-town life against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, civil rights protests and the emergence of the counterculture.
Featured song: "Summertime Blues," Blue Cheer.
Bill Gruber spent a summer following an American Legion baseball team in a small Idaho town. He joins us to discuss the many-sided narrative book that resulted, which part sports journalism, part history and part memoir.
Featured song: "Small Town," John Mellemcamp
Author Stacy DeKeyser joins us to discuss her middle school novel about a boy who loves baseball and must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy.
Featured song: "At the Zoo," Simon and Garfunkel.
Who is Pete Rose? Author Michael Sokolove explored that question in his classic 1990 biography of Charlie Hustile. The author joins us to take a look behind the myths and lies at the heart of the Rose story.
Featured song: "Blood and Roses," the Smithereens.
Peter Devereaux takes us on a tour of rare and colorful early baseball cards from the Library of Congress’s Benjamin K. Edwards Collection. The books features 300 images tobacco cards issued between 1887 to 1914.
Featured song: "I've Just Seen a Face," by the Dillards.
For baseball fans, 1980 was the year of George Brett and Mike Schmidt, Super Joe Charboneau and fireballing J.R. Richard. Author J. Daniel joins us to discuss the Phillies, the Royals and the season that almost ended in a strike.
Feautred song: "Whip It," by Devo.
Philosophy professor Mark Kingwell joins us to discuss his book, which attempts to explain why baseball matters through a series of essays. Kingwell argues there is no better tutor of human failure’s enduring significance than baseball.
Featured song: "My Philosophy," by Boogie Down Productions.
Author Mike Sowell joins us to discuss his Casey Award-winning account of Ray Chapman's on-field death in 1920. Sowell's classic book takes an in-depth look at Chapman, Carl Mays, the 1920 pennant race and more.
Featured song: "It's a Shame About Ray," by the Lemonheads.
Jane Leavy, the award-winning biographer of Sandy Koufax and Mickey Mantle, now takes on the biggest ballplayer of 'em all: Babe Ruth. Join us as Leavy discusses how she uncovered previously unknown information about the immortal Bambino.
When the Dodgers and Giants headed to California following the 1957 season, Major League Baseball increased its national profile and broadened its fan base, author Lincoln Mitchell tells us. The effects of the moves are stilling being felt six decades later.
The Bad News Bears is considered a classic baseball movie. Its 1977 sequel is not. But author Josh Wilker thinks the mostly forgotten tale of Kelly Leak, the Astrodome and a van full of misfits is a quintessential American movie of the 1970s.
Rob Neyer returns to the podcast to discuss his new book, which looks at modern baseball through the lens of the single Astros-A's game played in September 2017. It's a work in the tradition of "A Day in the Bleachers" and "Nine Innings."
100 years ago this month, war raged in Europe, a flu epidemic spread throughout the globe and the Red Sox and Cubs battled in the earliest World Series ever. Author Skip Desjardin joins us to discuss the remarkable series of events.
Reggie! Reggie! For more than a decade, Mr. October was the center of the baseball universe, finding himself in the middle of controversy and pennant races alike. Dayn Perry joins us discuss the tumultuous life and career of the Hall of Famer.