Museum’s Author Series Programs Bring Latest Baseball Stories to Cooperstown
(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 Author 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 11 Author Series events throughout the season, bringing noted baseball authors to Cooperstown for special lectures and book signings. Among the highlights of the 2019 Author Series are appearances by award-winning author Jane Leavy, who will discuss her book on Babe Ruth, as well as books on the Mets, the Braves and the Yankees.
The Author Series programs are held in the Museum’s Bullpen Theater or Grandstand 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:
- June 5, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – Shea Stadium Remembered: The Mets, Jets, and Beatlemania, by Matt Silverman
Over its 44-year existence Shea Stadium witnessed an array of sporting and entertainment events, all detailed in this lively tribute by New York Mets historian Matt Silverman. The book details the memorable games and the unforgettable characters, including Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, Seinfeld friend Keith Hernandez, and NFL star Joe Namath. By the time of its demolition, the Mets had played more games at Shea Stadium than the Brooklyn Dodgers had ever played at Ebbets Field. In total, Shea Stadium hosted seven National League Championship Series, four World Series, and the American Football League Championship game in 1968.
- June 12, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater– When the Braves Ruled the Diamond, by Dan Schlossberg
Former Associated Press sportswriter and longtime travel writer Dan Schlossberg covers the record-breaking era that transformed the Atlanta Braves from a laughingstock into America’s Team. This newly revised edition of the book features additional material on new Hall of Famers Chipper Jones and team architect John Schuerholz. From 1991 through 2005, the Braves did something no professional sports team has matched, finishing in first place for 14 consecutive seasons. During that stretch, the Braves parlayed powerful pitching with potent hitting that produced under pressure. Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox oversaw the Braves of that era, leading the team to five National League pennants and a World Series title.
- June 26, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – They Said It Couldn’t Be Done: The ’69 Mets, New York City, and the Most Astounding Season in Baseball History, by Wayne Coffey
Gracefully told with unprecedented depth and set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the moon landing and the mayhem of Woodstock, They Said It Couldn’t Be Done is the uplifting chronicle of a wise manager, Gil Hodges, and his overachieving roster of heroes. The story of the 1969 New York Mets has long since entered sports lore as one of the most remarkable of all time. But beyond the “miracle” is a compelling narrative of an unlikely collection of players and the manager who inspired them. The enduring richness of the story lies in a team comprised of untested youngsters, overlooked veterans, and four African-American stalwarts who came of age in the shadow of Jackie Robinson. Bestselling author Wayne Coffey has captured the voices of players and fans, reporters and umpires, to bring to life a moment when a championship descended on a city.
- July 3, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – Let’s Go Yankees!, by Scott Pitoniak
Scott Pitoniak, bestselling author and sports columnist, fell in love with the New York Yankees as a six-year-old during the summer of 1961. That’s when he watched Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris chase Babe Ruth’s home run record. Scott passed on his love of the Yankees to his son and daughter. Now with his new children’s book, Let's Go Yankees! Pitoniak shares his love of the legendary team with the next generation and offers lessons about life through the game of baseball.
- July 6, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – One Base at a Time: How I Survived PTSD and Found My Field of Dreams, by David Mellor
As a young boy, David Mellor was struck by a car, derailing what could have been a promising career as a pitcher. In the wake of the accident, even after reaching the major leagues as a groundskeeper, David was tortured by the aftermath of his injuries and additional traumas. Now the head groundskeeper for the Boston Red Sox, Mellor details his problems with anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks, completely unaware at the time that he was experiencing the debilitating symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, commonly known as PTSD. One Base at a Time recounts in vivid detail David’s subsequent 29-year struggle with PTSD. This harrowing but inspiring story documents the remarkable journey of a man debilitated by physical and psychological injuries but who refused to give up even when everything seemed hopeless.
- July 10, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – The Ball: Mark McGwire's Home Run Ball and the Marketing of the American Dream, by Daniel Paisner
Prolific author and celebrity collaborator Daniel Paisner provides a revealing account of the circumstances surrounding the ball that Mark McGwire hit for his 70th home run in 1999. The new edition of this in-depth book tracks the ball from its construction in Costa Rica to its resting place today.
- July 16, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – Let’s Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, The Life of Ernie Banks, by Ron Rapoport
A biography of beloved Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, Let’s Play Two is a product of numerous conversations with Banks and interviews with more than 100 of his family members, teammates, friends, and associates. The book also features oral histories, court records, and thousands of other documents and sources. Together, they explain how Banks was so different from the persona he created for the public. The book tells of Banks’ early life in segregated Dallas, his years in the Negro Leagues, and his difficult life after retirement. Chicago-based writer Ron Rapoport creates compelling portraits of Buck O'Neil, Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley, the famed Bleacher Bums, the doomed pennant race of 1969 and much more from a long-lost era.
- July 17, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches, by Tyler Kepner
New York Times writer Tyler Kepner traces the colorful stories and fascinating folklore behind the 10 major pitches thrown at the professional level. Each chapter highlights a different pitch, from the blazing fastball to the fluttering knuckleball to the slippery spitball. Infusing every page with passion for the game, Kepner brings readers inside the minds of combatants who are 60 feet, six inches away from their opponents at home plate. Filled with priceless insights from many of the best pitchers in baseball history including 22 Hall of Famers – from Steve Carlton and Bob Gibson to Greg Maddux and Mariano Rivera K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches offers a definitive look at the art of pitching.
- July 20, 2 p.m., Grandstand Theater – The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created, by Jane Leavy
After hitting his 60th home run in September of 1927, Babe Ruth embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America, accompanied by teammate Lou Gehrig. Ruth’s agent, Christy Walsh, called the tour a “Symphony of Swat.” The Omaha World Herald called it “the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent.” In The Big Fella, voted the winner of the Seymour Medal by the Society for American Baseball Research in 2018, acclaimed biographer Jane Leavy recreates that 21-day circus and in so doing captures the pomp and the pathos that defined Ruth’s life and times. Drawing from more than 250 interviews, a trove of previously untapped documents, and the Ruth family records, Leavy breaks through the mythology that has obscured the legend of The Babe and delivers the story of the man. Leavy recounts a life full of journeys and itineraries, road trips and hunting trips, grand tours of foreign capitals and postseason promotional tours, and his 714 trips around the bases.
- July 24, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – Now Taking the Field: Baseball’s All-Time Dream Teams for All 30 Franchises, by Thomas Stone
Who is the best player at each position throughout the history of each major league baseball franchise? Author and historian Tom Stone attempts to answer that question through his new book, Now Taking the Field. Stone provides robust 30-man all-time “dream team” rosters, selected based on a combination of Wins Above Replacement (WAR), traditional statistics, awards, and post-season accomplishments. In this comprehensive book, Stone provides additional features for each all-time team, including starting lineups, depth charts, comparisons with numerous past authors, fan surveys and more.
- Aug. 7, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – Roadside Baseball, by Chris Epting
Capturing such American pastimes as baseball and road trips in one fascinating work, this updated and expanded third edition of Roadside Baseball chronicles more than 500 important locations and landmarks in baseball history. Author Chris Epting has packed this latest volume with historical data, trivia, photographs, and baseball lore. The book include the birthplaces of baseball legends, ballpark sites, museums and halls of fame, final resting places and many locations no longer standing. The third edition of Roadside Baseball includes hundreds of newly discovered landmarks, including the former locations of stadiums that have been torn down in recent years, including Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, and Tiger Stadium. There is also information on the Negro Leagues Baseball Marker project, which has placed headstones around the country to honor forgotten African-American ballplayers, and suggestions on day trip itineraries located near your favorite stadiums.
- Aug. 14, 1 p.m., Bullpen Theater – Mets in 10s: The Best and Worst of an Amazin’ History, by Brian Wright
From the greatest left-handed pitchers to the worst trades to the best single-game hitting performances, author Brian Wright ranks the most unforgettable memories in the history of New York’s National League franchise. Since their inception in 1962, the New York Mets have not traveled the straight and narrow path. These top 10 lists chart the many highs and lows over that journey – from World Series victories in 1969 and 1986 through an injury-shattered 2017 season. Wright also relives the way that the team’s passionate fans have lovingly embraced the triumphs, such as when Mike Piazza hit a dramatic home run after 9/11 to help lift a devastated city.
For more information on Hall of Fame programs, please visit www.baseballhall.org/events.