Museum’s Author Series Programs Bring Latest Baseball Stories to Cooperstown
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Books detailing the history and rules of baseball have been written since the sport’s earliest days, dating back to the 1850s.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s summer Author Series will showcase the latest in baseball writing, featuring 10 writers beginning in June and running through August.
Author Series programs are held in the Museum’s Bullpen Theater 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. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The schedule for the summer includes:
Wednesday, June 15, 1 p.m. – Lights, Camera, Fastball: How the Hollywood Stars Changed Baseball, by Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor will talk about his colorful book on the Pacific Coast League’s Hollywood Stars and their 20-year run in which they influenced rule changes, employed cheerleaders and movie-star beauty queens, wore short pants and became early pioneers of baseball on TV. The team, led by Bob Cobb, owner of the heralded Brown Derby restaurant and inventor of the Cobb Salad, played in front of stars from the screen like Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Barbara Stanwyck and Humphrey Bogart at Gilmore Field in Hollywood.
Wednesday, June 22, 1 p.m. – The Atlanta Alibi, by David Kelly
Children’s author David Kelly’s 18th book in the “Ballpark Mysteries” series follows a Braves conundrum. The children’s book follows cousins Mike and Kate, who attend a Braves home game with Kate’s sports reporter Mom when they stumble onto a crime: Hank Aaron's bat and ball from his record-setting 715th home run are missing! Kelly will discuss why he picked Atlanta for his latest book, along with the process of writing stories in his “Ballpark Mysteries” series.
Wednesday, June 29, 1 p.m. – An Illustrated Intro to Japanese Baseball Cards, Rob Fitts
Robert Fitts will discuss his lavishly illustrated book, which introduces the reader to the fascinating and colorful world of Japanese baseball cards, from their beginnings in the late 19th century to the present day. Fitts is one of the leading authorities on Japanese baseball and has written previous books such as “Banzai Babe Ruth” and “Mashi: The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams of Masanori Murakami, The First Japanese Major Leaguer”.
Wednesday, July 6, 1 p.m. – When the Braves Ruled the Diamond, by Dan Schlossberg
Veteran author Dan Schlossberg, a former Associated Press sportswriter and longtime travel writer, is one of the leading historians on the Braves’ franchise and has written 40 books on baseball and its history. Schlossberg will discuss the newest edition of his book, “When the Braves Ruled the Diamond”, which covers the Braves’ glorious run from 1991 through 2005, when they finished in first place for 14 consecutive seasons.
Wednesday, July 13, 1 p.m. – True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson, by Kostya Kennedy
Best-selling author Kostya Kennedy, who has written books on Pete Rose and Joe DiMaggio, and has written for Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and The New Yorker, pens this critically acclaimed novel which looks into four milestone years in the life of one of baseball’s most influential figures: 1946, his lone season with the Montreal Royals; 1949, when he won the National League MVP; 1956, his final season in the major leagues; and 1972, the final year of Robinson’s life.
Friday, July 29, 1 p.m. – If You Build It… A Book About Fathers, Fate, and Field of Dreams, by Dwier Brown
Dwier Brown, who appeared in “The Field of Dreams” as John Kinsella, Ray Kinsella’s father, writes about his experience on the set of the movie. The book also delves into Brown’s career as an actor and how making the movie changed his relationship with his father, who died shortly before filming began.
Wednesday, Aug. 10, 1 p.m. – Our Team: The Epic Story of 4 Men & the World Series that Changed Baseball, by Luke Epplin
Luke Epplin tells the story of Cleveland’s 1948 World Series victory and all that went into it, tracing the story of integration in the American League. Hall of Famer Larry Doby, who broke the American League color barrier when he joined the Indians, following in Jackie Robinson’s footsteps, is just one of four major characters Epplin’s book follows.
Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2 p.m. – Victory on Two Fronts: The Cleveland Indians & Baseball Through WWII, by Scott Longert
Scott Longert looks at the Cleveland Indians through the lens of World War II, following the team’s rough luck during the war before sketching out its comeback to World Series victors in 1948. The book, augmented by player photographs, filled with colorful stories and offering insight into both baseball and the World War II era, examines how the Indians helped integrate Major League Baseball.
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 1 p.m. – The Baseball Talmud, by Howard Megdal
Howard Megdal’s new book provides a history of Jewish baseball in America by diving into the careers of legends like Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg as well as bringing to light the stories of some lesser known Jewish ballplayers. Megdal draws upon the lore and the little-known details of the many Jewish players who have had an impact on our National Pastime.
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 1 p.m. – The Life of Jim Thorpe, by David Maraniss
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Maraniss’s new biography tells the story of America’s greatest all-around athlete in Jim Thorpe, a man who starred in baseball, football and track and field. Thorpe won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, was an All-American football player at the Carlisle Indian School and played in the major leagues for John McGraw’s New York Giants. Thorpe also encountered racism and other forms of bigotry as a member of the Sac and Fox Nation.
For more information on Hall of Fame programs, please click here.