Baseball by the Book

A veteran baseball journalist interviews today's best baseball authors about their books.

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A veteran baseball writer and editor explores the world of books about baseball through interviews with today's best baseball authors.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-11-19 20:50
last episode published
2019-11-19 06:00
publication frequency
5.11 days
Justin McGuire author ( managing editor  
Justin McGuire owner  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Sports & Recreation Professional Literature Arts



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Episode 227: "The Death Row All-Stars"

In the summer of 1911, a group of murderers, rapists and other hardened convicts at the Wyoming State Penitentiary garnered national attention through their prowess at baseball. Author Chris Enss joins us to discuss a remarkable tale of corruption, pol...

Episode 226: "Epic Season"

The 1948 American League pennant race was one of the greatest in history, featuring legendary stars, an iconoclastic owner and a one-game playoff to determine which team would advance to the World Series. Author David Kaiser joins to discuss Ted Willia...

Episode 225: "Oscar Charleston"

Many experts believe Oscar Charleston is among the handful of best players in baseball history. So why is the former Negro Leagues star virtually forgotten today? Jeremy Beer joins us to discuss the life and legacy of the man who dominated black baseba...

Episode 224: "Grassroots Baseball"

Jean Fruth has photographed amateur baseball players from Cuba to Oakland, from Japan to the Bronx and other baseball hotbeds throughout the world. Fruth and former Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson join us to discuss her book of more than 2...

Episode 223: "Homegrown"

In 2018, the Red Sox won the World Series with perhaps the best team ever in the franchise's storied history. Author Alex Speier joins us to explain how Boston spent years methodically developing a generation of elite prospects who led the team to the ...

Episode 222: "Reclaiming 42"

Over the past two decades, Major League Baseball has put a lot of effort into honoring Jackie Robinson as a heroic man who broke the color barrier. But Robinson's legacy has been sanitized and oversimplified, says author David Naze. Robinson was a comp...

Episode 221: "The Celebrant"

"The Celebrant" has been lauded as one of the greatest baseball novels ever written. Eric Rolfe Greenberg joins us to discuss his classic tale of a Jewish immigrant whose life intersects with the career of legendary New York Giants pitcher Christy Math...

Episode 220: "Shoeless"

One hundred years ago today, the infamous 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds began. Author David Fleitz joins us to discuss his biography of Shoeless Joe Jackson, the man who has become the focal point of the Black Sox ...

Episode 219: "The Dizzy and Daffy Dean Barnstorming Tour"

Following the 1934 World Series, Cardinal aces Dizzy and Paul Dean set off on a 14-game barnstorming tour that saw them compete against such legendary Negro League stars as Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Oscar Charleston. Award-winning author Phil S. D...

Episode 218: "Batting Clean"

Dale Murphy was one of the best, and most respected, players of the 1980s. Yet the former Braves star has not gotten close to being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Author Kirk McKnight joins us to discuss why he think Murph belongs in Cooperstown...

Episode 217: "Nuclear Powered Baseball"

In 1992, nine MLB All-Stars "appeared" as themselves on a third season episode of "The Simpsons." In the 27 years since, "Homer at the Bat" has become one of the most remembered episodes of the classic animated TV series, beloved by generations of fans...

Episode 216: "Black Baseball's Last Team Standing"

For more than four decades, the Birmingham Black Barons were one of the premier teams in all of black baseball. Author William J. Plott joins us to discuss the legacy of the team that helped launch the careers of Satchel Paige, Willie Mays and others. ...

Episode 215: "Baseball Gods in Scandal"

In late 1926, the baseball world was rocked after allegations emerged that superstars Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker had thrown a game seven years earlier. Author Ian Kahanowitz joins us to discuss the Dutch Leonard Affair, which almost destroyed the game it...

Episode 214: "Red Sox vs. Yankees"

Ruth vs. Williams. Jeter vs. Nomar. Boggs vs. A-Rod. For more than a century, the Yankees and Red Sox have battled for baseball supremacy. Authors Bill Nowlin and David Fischer join us to take an in-depth, position-by-position look at the greatest riva...

Episode 213: "A Whole New Ballgame"

In the tumultuous year of 1969, the lowly Washington Senators shocked the baseball world by posting their first (and only) winning season. Led by manager Ted Williams and stars like Frank Howard and Dick Bosman, the team won a permanent place in the he...

Episode 212: "Mission 27"

In 2009, the New York Yankees were a franchise in transition. Mark Feinsand and Bryan Hoch join us to discuss how the new-look Bronx Bombers managed to win one final World Series with the Core Four of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Marian...

Episode 211: "Edgar"

Edgar Martinez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday, completing an unlikely journey from Puerto Rico to Cooperstown. Larry Stone, who co-authored Martinez's autobiography, joins to discuss the life and career of the legendary Mariners des...

Episode 210: "Hidden Ball Trick"

Authors Jeremy Frank and Jim Passon join us to discuss their new book, which focuses on "the baseball stats you never thought to look for" from the 19th century through the Deadball Era. Featured song: "I Can't Hide," Flamin' Groovies.

Episode 209: "The New York Yankees in Popular Culture"

Ruth. Gehrig. DiMaggio. Mantle. Costanza? For decades, the New York Yankees have been at the forefront of American popular culture, from movies to TV to music. David Krell returns to the podcast to discuss Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Damn Yankees, Simon &a...

Episode 208: "July 2, 1903"

Big Ed Delahanty, a slugging, hard-drinking outfielder, was one of baseball's top superstars in the 1890s. But 116 years later, his death remain shrouded in mystery. Author Mike Sowell returns to the podcast to discuss Delahanty and the baseball wars o...

Episode 207: "When Big Data Was Small"

When Dick Cramer started analyzing baseball data in the 1960s, the term sabermetrics hadn't even been coined yet. Cramer joins us to discuss his pioneering work in the field, including his role in the founding of STATS and in disproving the concept of ...

Episode 206: "The MVP Machine"

The "Moneyball" era is over, and MLB teams have moved on to the next revolution: the high-tech quest to build better players. Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik join us to talk about how this approach is transforming the game in numerous ways — and not a...

Episode 205: "Unwritten"

Are bat flips OK? What does it mean to "respect the game?" How has the influx of Latin American players affected baseball's culture? Veteran writer Danny Knobler joins us to discuss MLB's shifting attitudes towards once-sacred player codes. Featured so...

Episode 204: "Strike Four"

Author Richard Hershberger joins us to discuss how baseball evolved into the game we know today through a series of wide-ranging and radical rule changes throughout the 19th century. Featured song: "Little Games," the Yardbirds.

Episode 203: "A Season to Forget"

Ronald Reagan called to offer support. So did the Pope. And Bill Cosby. None of it helped. The 1988 Baltimore Orioles started the season 0-21, setting a record and becoming a national laughingstock. Author Ron Snyder joins us to discuss one of the wors...

Episode 202: "They Bled Blue"

In 1981, after a strike nearly ended the baseball season, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the most unusual World Series title in history. Author Jason Turbow joins us to discuss Fernandomania, Steve Garvey, Marvin Miller and more. Featured song: "This Town...


Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger joins us to discuss the the inextricable link between the history of baseball stadiums and the growth of the American city. Featured song: "Bright Lights, Big City," the Animals.

"The Legendary Harry Caray"

It might be! It could be! It is the 200th episode of Baseball by the Book! Author Don Zminda joins us to discuss the life of Harry Caray, the legendary broadcaster known for his work with the Cardinals, White Sox and Cubs. Holy cow! Featured song: "Tak...

"Ten Innings at Wrigley"

On the afternoon of May 17, 1979, the Phillies and Cubs played in one of the wildest, craziest games in baseball history. Author Kevin Cook joins us to discuss Dave Kingman, Mike Schmidt, WGN and MLB on the precipice of great changes. Featured song: "B...

Episode 198: "No Place I Would Rather Be"

Legendary New Yorker writer Roger Angell is considered to be one of baseball's finest chroniclers by generations of fans. Author Joe Bonomo joins us to discuss more than four decades of extraordinary Angell essays. Featured song: "Angel Eyes," Roxy Mus...

Episode 197: "When the Crowd Didn't Roar"

On April 29, 2015, the Baltimore Orioles hosted the Chicago White Sox at an empty Camden Yards. Author Kevin Cowherd joins us to discuss the surreal game that was played in the wake of major civil unrest following the death in police custody of Freddie...

Episode 196: "Almost Yankees"

In the summer of 1981, with major league players on strike, the powerhouse Triple-A Columbus Clippers became the talk of the baseball world. Author J. David Herman joins us to discuss Steve Balboni, Dave Righetti, Buck Showalter and other members of on...

Episode 195: "They Said it Couldn't Be Done"

Fifty years ago, the Miracle Mets stunned the baseball world by defeating the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Author Wayne Coffey joins us to discuss the Mets and the other amazin' events of 1969.

Episode 194: "Going the Distance"

On the 30th anniversary of Field of Dreams, William Steele joins us to discuss the life and works of author W.P. Kinsella, whose novel inspired the movie. Kinsella's controversial literary legacy goes beyond his celebrated baseball writings, Steele exp...

Episode 193: "Last Seasons in Havana"

César Brioso joins us to discuss how the Castro Revolution spelled the end of a once-thriving professional baseball scene in Cuba. Featured song: "Havana Moon," Chuck Berry,  

Episode 192: "Doc, Donnie, the Kid, and Billy Brawl"

Hop into the DeLorean with author Chris Donnelly and take a trip back to the summer of the 1985, when the Mets and Yankees vied for baseball supremacy in New York. Meet Dwight Gooden, Don Mattingly, Gary Carter, Billy Martin and the rest who made it su...

Episode 191: "Scouting and Scoring"

Because of the the success of "Moneyball," many baseball fans believe in a fundamental divide between talent evaluators: Old-school, backward-thinking scouts vs. new-school, progressive analysts. But Christopher Phillips rejects this simplistic notion ...

Episode 190: "K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches"

New York Times baseball writer Tyler Kepner joins us to discuss his new book, which includes more than 300 interviews with major league pitchers of the past and present. Join us as Kepner explains how pitches from the fastball to the screwball to the s...

Episode 189: "Scandal on the South Side"

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the infamous Black Sox scandal, in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox were banned from baseball for throwing the World Series. Author Jacob Pomrenke joins us to discuss his book, plus the classic "Eigh...

"Here's the Pitch"

From Ty Cobb to Derek Jeter, baseball has always been inseparable from advertising. Author Roberta J. Newman joins us to discuss her look at the long, intertwined history of two American institutions.  Featured song: "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and ...

"The Year of the Pitcher"

In 1968, major pitchers dominated as never before as hitters looked helpless at the plate. Author Sridhar Pappu joins to discuss Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, Don Drysdale, Luis Tiant and the rest of the hurlers who defined the year of the pitcher. Feature...

"Our Bums"

More than six decades after they left Flatbush, the Brooklyn Dodgers continue to resonate in the American imagination, particularly in pop culture. Author David Krell joins us to discuss the legacy of Rickey, Robinson, Reese and the rest of the Boys of...

Episode 185: "Joe Cronin"

For five decades, Joe Cronin had a front-row seat for some of the biggest events in baseball history. Author Mark Armour joins us to discuss the remarkable baseball life of the Hall of Fame shortstop who became American League president. Featured song:...

Episode 184: "Let's Play Two"

Author Doug Wilson returns to the podcast to talk about his new biography of the legendary Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks. The Hall of Fame sluggers was a more complicated personality than his sunny reputation would suggest, Wilson says.  Featured song: "Boom Bo...

Episode 183: "Luckiest Man"

Author Jonathan Eig joins us to discuss his Casey Award-winning biography of legendary Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig. Eig conducted dozens of new interviews and relied on hundreds of pages of previously letters to tell the story off baseball's Iron Horse....

Episode 182: "Blue Monday"

In October 1981, Rick Monday of the Dodgers hit a home run that broke the hearts of Expos fans — and changed the course of the Montreal franchise forever. Danny Gallagher joins us to talk about that infamous homer and its long-lasting repercussions.  F...

Episode 181: "A Fine Team Man"

On the 100th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's birth, Joe Cox joins us to discuss the enormous impact Robinson had on the lives of people who knew him. From Pee Wee Reese to Red Barber to Dixie Walker, Robinson helped change lives. Featured song: "Bette...

Episode 180: "Now Taking the Field"

Using WAR and other measures, Tom Stone spent years compiling a list of each major league franchise's all-time dream team. He joins to discussing the resulting book, which is sure to start many arguments among baseball fans. Featured song: "Field of Di...

Episode 179 : "The Giants of the Polo Grounds"

Author Noel Hynd joins us to discuss his classic history of John McGraw, Mel Ott, Wille Mays and the rest of the legendary New York Giants.  Featured song: "Giant Steps," John Coltrane. 

Episode 178: "Playing with Tigers"

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 co...