By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus
NEW HAVEN, Ct — Back in the eighties, author Dan Schlossberg released a unique baseball book entitled “The Baseball Catalog”. Filled with all sorts of trivia, tidbits, photos, and other information that any baseball junkie would go crazy over, “The Almanac” was one of my favorite books about the sport growing up.
Over the years, Schlossberg’s work was readapted and updated like the Baseball Encyclopedia several times. In 2002, it was released as a paperback and called “The Baseball Catalog: A Big Bodacious Book Of Baseball”.
Just in time for the start of the 2017 season, Schlossberg’s latest adaptation of his original book has been released to include the happening from this past season. Now entitled “The New Baseball Bible: Notes, Nuggets, Lists, and Legends from Our National Pastime”, he takes his readers on a similar journey.
No aspect of the sport — either on or off the field — isn’t discussed in this 424-page collection of baseball dope. Schlossberg also enlisted the help of former major leaguer Jay Johnstone and fellow author Alan Schwarz (The Numbers Game and Once Upon A game) to put together this latest version.
With chapters on the media, the language of the game, sabermetrics, superstitions and other rituals, and other things, Schlossberg re-introduces the game’s history while giving deference to the modern era as well.
In his introduction, Schlossberg says “The idea here is to inspire older, more traditional fans but also to woo the younger generation back from its flirtation with the faster sports like basketball and hockey”.
“The New Baseball Bible is meant to be a book of memories. It celebrates the best, the worst, and the most unusual aspects of the game of baseball and the people who played it”.
As a lover of trivia, I enjoyed some of the interesting tidbits that are shared in the book.
Here are just some brief samples:
— Outfielder Lonnie Smith is the only man to reach the World Series with four different teams: the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies, the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals, the 1985 Kansas City Royals, and the 1991-1992 Atlanta Braves.
— When Hall of Famer Hank Aaron hit his 715th homer on April 8, 1974, No. 44 went deep against another No. 44 (pitcher Al Downing). Also, it was an event that occurred in the fourth inning of Atlanta’s fourth game of the season during the fourth month of the year ending in the number four.
— Sherry Davis became baseball’s first full-time female public address announcer in 1993 when she was hired by the San Francisco Giants. Davis served as the P.A. announcer at Candlestick Park until 1999. When the Giants moved to AT&T Park a year later, she was replaced by another female announcer, Renel Brooks-Moon, who still holds the position.
It’s that kind of information and tidbits that make “The New Baseball Bible” a must read for any type of baseball fan.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at email@example.com.