Museum’s 2023 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, with programs beginning in June.
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. All programs will be streamed on the Hall of Fame’s Facebook page.
The schedule for the summer includes:
Saturday, June 10, 1 p.m. – Before Brooklyn: The Unsung Heroes Who Helped Break Baseball’s Color Barrier, by Ted Reinstein
Author Ted Reinstein explores the stories of the little-known heroes who fought segregation in baseball. His book delves into the stories of Moses Fleetwood Walker, Rube Foster and other black baseball pioneers who came before Jackie Robinson. Reinstein has been a reporter for “Chronicle,” WCVB-TV/Boston’s award-winning – and America’s longest-running locally-produced – nightly news magazine since 1997.
Thursday, June 15, 1 p.m. – Pinstripes by the Tale: Half a Century In and Around Yankees Baseball, by Marty Appel
Award-winning author Marty Appel offers an intimate insider’s look at the New York Yankees, the game’s most iconic franchise. The book invites readers to consider the small moments in Yankee history that have quietly shaped the story of the franchise, both on and off the field. As a public relations director, television producer, writer and historian for the Yankees franchise, Appel came to know many of the Yankees’ most legendary characters, along with lesser-known, supporting cast members. The book features stories of Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Thurman Munson, Derek Jeter, George Steinbrenner and countless other legends who have worn the pinstripes.
Sunday, June 18, 1 p.m.—Sons of Baseball: Growing Up with a Major League Dad, by Mark Braff
Mark Braff offers a rare look at professional ballplayers – not as pitchers, hitters, managers, and coaches but as fathers and grandfathers. For the book, Braff interviewed 18 men who share their exclusive stories, ballpark memories and the challenges and rewards of having fathers whose talents assisted them in reaching the heights of pro baseball. With a foreword by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and interviews with the sons of beloved players like Yogi Berra, Mariano Rivera, Roger Maris, Gil Hodges and Larry Doby, the book provides a unique, well-rounded perspective on the lives of professional ballplayers and their families.
Thursday, June 22, 1 p.m. – The Black Cat Change-Up, by David Kelly
Frequent Hall of Fame contributor and fan favorite David A. Kelly returns with the latest book in his series of “Ballpark Mysteries.” David’s latest story is about a black cat haunting the New York Mets. Our protagonists, Kate and Mike, arrive in New York for an important game against the Chicago Cubs, but Cookie, the team’s star hitter, is rattled by a phantom feline. As part of his presentation, David will discuss the process of writing children’s books and how he comes up with ideas for his fictional stories.
Tuesday, June 27, 7 p.m. – We Will Win the Day: The Civil Rights Movement, the Black Athlete, and the Quest for Equality, by Louis Moore (Zoom-only program)
This timely and critically-acclaimed book examines the history of Black activist athletes and the important role of the Black community in insisting that the concept of fair play should apply not only to sports but to all segments of society. The book details Jackie Robinson's entry into baseball in 1945, when he first signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and delves into the effects of Jim Crow segregation on ballplayers in the 1950s and sixties.
Louis Moore is an associate professor of history at Grand Valley State University, where he teaches African American history, civil rights, sports and U.S. history.
Thursday, June 29, 1 p.m. – Walter Alston: The Rise of a Manager from the Minors to the Baseball Hall of Fame, by Alan Levy
A professor of American history at Slippery Rock University, Alan Levy provides in-depth research into the life of Walter Alston. The book traces Alston's rise through the minor leagues and big leagues to become a Hall of Fame manager, owner of more than 2,000 career wins and four world championships. Signed in 1935, Alston played on many minor league teams, but came to bat in the majors just once – and struck out. But St. Louis Cardinals president Branch Rickey recognized other talents in Alston and made him a player-manager, setting him on a path to Cooperstown.
Thursday, July 6, 1 p.m. – Baseball’s Greatest Misses: An Unabashed Look at the Game’s Craziest Zeroes, by Dan Schlossberg
Baseball books invariably overlook stories and records that could have happened but didn’t. In his latest book, Dan Schlossberg fills that void, pointing out baseball’s greatest “zeroes.” Who knew that Willie Mays never won an RBI crown or that Stan Musial never led his league in home runs? Or that Nolan Ryan never won a Cy Young Award during his 26-year career? Schlossberg, the author of 40 books on baseball, has worked in journalism for 50 years, running the gamut from broadcast analyst to author and public speaker.
Thursday, July 13, 1 p.m. – Road to Nowhere: The Early 1990s Collapse and Rebuild of New York City Baseball, by Chris Donnelly
New York baseball expert Chris Donnelly tells the story of the city’s baseball decline from 1990 to 1996, describing in detail the collapse of the Mets and the Yankees. After the chaos of the 1980s, the Yankees bottomed out in 1990, enduring one of the worst seasons in franchise history. In the meantime, the Mets made bad trades, fired managers seemingly every year and became a powder keg of never-ending controversy. Both the Mets and Yankees would eventually find glory again, but not before struggles that left New York City baseball in tatters.
Thursday, July 20, 1 p.m. – Daybreak at Chavez Ravine: Fernandomania and the Remaking of the Los Angeles Dodgers, by Erik Sherman
Hall of Fame favorite Erik Sherman tells the story of Fernando Valenzuela’s arrival on the major league scene in 1981 and his influence on Dodgers history, which helped bring redemption after the organization’s controversial beginnings in Los Angeles. Through new interviews with players, coaches and media, the book brings fresh insight to the ways he transformed the Dodgers and started a phenomenon that altered the country’s cultural landscape.
Thursday, July 27, 1 p.m. – The Fireballer: A Novel, by Mark Stevens
Novelist Mark Stevens tells the fictional story of pitcher Frank Ryder, an enormous talent who dominates hitters with an overpowering fastball. But within the maelstrom of media attention, adulation and even wild speculation, Ryder remains haunted by a tragic incident from his distant past. Seeking redemption, he returns to the roots of his childhood.
Thursday, Aug. 3, 1 p.m. – The Kid from Dodgertown, by Paul Ferrante
Young adult author Paul Ferrante tells the fictional story of Los Angeles Dodgers beat writer Rosa Santos, who has become dismayed by player suspensions for bad behavior, tainted records due to performance enhancing drugs and endless labor disputes. But then she meets pitcher Darnell Hayward, who offers to tell her a story that may change her perspective.
Thursday, Aug. 10, 1 p.m. – Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke, by Andrew Maraniss
Bestselling author Andrew Maraniss delves into the story of Glenn Burke, the first openly gay player in major league history. At one time a top outfield prospect with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Burke faced bigotry in Los Angeles and later with the Oakland A’s. Tragically, Burke contracted AIDS in the 1990s and died at the age of 42. The son of Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss, Andrew Maraniss served as the media relations manager for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays during their inaugural season. Singled Out is his first book on baseball.
Thursday, Aug. 31, 1 p.m. – Baseball at the Abyss: The Scandals of 1926, Babe Ruth and the Unlikely Savior Who Rescued a Tarnished Game, by Dan Taylor
Longtime broadcaster and author Dan Taylor explores the 1926 scandal that involved two of the game’s top stars, each accused of fixing and betting on games. Sportswriters called the scandal worse than that of the infamous “Black Sox.” After the banishment of Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker, the game was saved, thanks in part to an unlikely individual: Christy Walsh, the business manager for Babe Ruth. Walsh arranged for The Babe to star in a motion picture and convinced Ruth to hire a fitness expert, change his habits and train diligently while working in Hollywood.
For more information on Hall of Fame programs, please visit baseballhall.org/events.