Museum’s Authors Series Programs Bring Latest Baseball Stories to Cooperstown
Lectures, Book Signings Held Throughout the Summer at Hall of Fame’s Bullpen Theater
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The timeless stories of the National Pastime are told every day in Cooperstown. But during the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s summer Authors Series programs, individual tales of the game’s fascinating past come to life through the writers who have chronicled that history.
The Hall of Fame will host 14 Authors Series events throughout the season, bringing noted baseball authors to Cooperstown for special lectures and book signings. Among the highlights of the 2018 Authors Series are appearances by former big leaguers Davey Johnson, Mark Littell and Skip Lockwood as well as books on the Mets, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle.
The Authors Series programs are held in the Museum’s Bullpen Theater at 1 p.m. and are included with Museum admission.
Authors will discuss their work and take questions from the audience in the theater program, then sign copies of their books for fans in the Atrium. Seating in the Bullpen Theater is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The schedule for the summer includes:
June 6 – Diamonds from the Dugout, by Mark Newman
Written by former MLB.com writer and editor Mark Newman, Diamonds from the Dugout delivers charming tales about heroic moments in baseball. Newman’s project began with an interview of beloved Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, whose passionate response made the author eager to talk to others. From one legend to the next, the answers were unexpected, introspective and inspiring.
June 13– A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle, by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
An essential work for fans of the game and anyone interested in 1950s culture, A Season in the Sun recounts the defining moment of Mickey Mantle’s legendary career: The 1956 season, when he overcame injuries and critics to become the most celebrated athlete of his time. Taking us from the action on the diamond to Mantle’s off-the-field exploits, historians Roberts and Smith depict the legendary Mantle as a complex man and character.
June 27 – Ballpark Mysteries: The Cardinals Caper, by David Kelly
Prolific author David Kelly’s latest presents the story of a special day in St. Louis, with a pregame celebration full of Clydesdale horses making their way around the stadium. Our fictional heroes, Mike and Kate, meet the horses and the Dalmatian that rides along with them. Then during the game, they find out the Dalmatian is missing. They rush to investigate and find a ransom note, which says that the criminal will return the dog in exchange for one of St. Louis’ World Series trophies.
July 4 – Tinker to Evers to Chance: The Chicago Cubs and the Dawn of America, by David Rapp
Author David Rapp explores the careers of Hall of Famers Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance, who came together in rough-and-tumble early 20th century Chicago and formed the defensive core of the most formidable team in big league baseball. Led by the three infielders, the Chicago Cubs won four National League pennants and two World Series championships from 1906 to 1910. At the same time, baseball was transforming from small-time diversion into a nationwide sensation. Tinker to Evers to Chance examines this pivotal moment in American history, when baseball became the game we know today.
July 11 – The Presidents and the Pastime, by Curt Smith
The latest from award-winning author Curt Smith chronicles the historical relationship between the most American of sports and the United States presidency. Drawing on Smith’s extensive background as a former White House presidential speechwriter, the book charts how baseball cemented its reputation as America’s pastime in the 19th century, when presidents Lincoln and Johnson played town ball and gave employees time off to watch.
July 14 – The Funniest Man in Baseball, by Audrey Vernick
Geared toward children, Audrey Vernick’s latest book offers insight into the life of Max Patkin, a professional ballplayer turned legendary baseball clown. This amusing picture book recounts the story of how Patkin faced Joe DiMaggio in a military game. After DiMaggio hit a Patkin pitch out of the park, Max threw down his glove and proceeded to chase the Hall of Famer around the bases, making faces and imitating every move of “Joltin’ Joe.” And thus, a baseball clown was born.
July 19 – Davey Johnson: My Wild Ride in Baseball and Beyond, by Davey Johnson and Erik Sherman
Prolific author Erik Sherman examines the career of Davey Johnson, onetime star with the Baltimore Orioles who gained even more fame as the manager of several teams, including the Orioles, New York Mets, and Cincinnati Reds. A true Renaissance man, Johnson has also found success as a land investor, pilot, scratch golfer, scuba diving teacher and mathematician, pioneering the use of Sabermetrics in the big leagues.
July 25 – On the 8th Day, God Made Baseball, by Mark Littell
A onetime closer with the Kansas City Royals, Mark Littell recounts his personal story, growing up in poverty in Missouri, his struggles in the minor leagues, and his emergence as a standout reliever in Kansas City. Although best known as the pitcher who surrendered Chris Chambliss’ pennant-winning home run in 1976, Littell has a story of perseverance that runs far deeper.
July 26 – Babe Ruth: A Superstar’s Legacy, by Jerry Amernic
A longtime writer of both fiction and non-fiction, Jerry Amernic explores the legacy of Babe Ruth on a number of fronts, both in and beyond baseball. It’s a legacy that involves sport, culture, business, the arts and humanity. Unlike any book ever written about the remarkable icon who captured America and the world, A Superstar’s Legacy serves as a testament to Ruth’s enduring appeal.
August 1 – Baseball Italian Style, By Larry Baldassaro
A leading historian on Italian-American baseball, Larry Baldassaro brings together the memories of Italian major leaguers whose collective careers span almost a century. In these first-person accounts, fans will meet at an intimate level the players they cheered, as well as coaches, managers, front-office executives, and umpires.
August 4 – Long Before the Miracle: The Making of the New York Mets, by Bill Sullivan
In 1969, the New York Mets overcame all odds to deliver a baseball miracle. But that miracle was not the beginning of the Mets’ franchise. An award-winning book recognized by the Society for American Baseball Research, Long Before the Miracle charts the dawn of the New York Mets, explaining who was responsible for influencing Major League Baseball to consider expansion into New York City.
August 8 – Winning Ugly, by Todd Radom
A celebrated graphic designer, professional sports branding expert, and professional writer, Todd Radom has authored the definitive history of baseball’s bizarre uniforms. Winning Ugly examines some of the strangest and most uniquely colorful uniforms the game has ever seen, from Charlie Finley’s mix-and-match green-and-gold color scheme to the “Tequila Sunrise” uniforms of the Houston Astros.
August 15 – Insight Pitch: My Life as a Major League Closer, by Skip Lockwood
In telling a story spanning three decades, retired relief ace Skip Lockwood recalls a career that included stops with the Kansas City Athletics, Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers, California Angels, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. Along the way, Lockwood details on-the-field triumphs and off-the-field shenanigans, as well as the enormous psychological process that he underwent every time he took the mound.
August 18 – Beep: Inside the Unseen World of Baseball for the Blind, by David Wanczyk
Author David Wanczyk illuminates the sport of blind baseball to show us a remarkable version of America’s pastime. With specially made balls squealing three times per second and with bases that buzz, baseball for the blind is both innovative and intense. And when the best “beep” baseball team in America, the Austin Blackhawks, take on their international rival from Taiwan, no one is thinking about disability. Instead, the book reveals a story of athletes who are playing all out to win a championship.
For more information on Hall of Fame programs, please visit www.baseballhall.org/events.