10 (Mostly) Dodgers Books to Get You Through the TV Blackout
Don't have Time Warner Cable and can't watch the Dodgers on their new SportsNet LA channel? Pissed about the blackout - or Blue-out, as the case may be?
Taking a bat to your cable box won't ease the angst for long. Instead, why don't you dive into the written word? Here are 10 mostly new and mostly Dodgers-centric books, which if ordered today, you might receive in time for next Friday's home opener, which, barring a caving television provider between now and then, will be dark for some 70 percent of Los Angeles-area households.
The hottest volume this April, and especially for locals, has got to be The Fight of Their Lives: How Juan Marichal and John Roseboro Turned Baseball's Ugliest Brawl into a Story of Forgiveness and Redemption, by John Rosengren, who last year penned the well-received Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes. Dodger fans who've seen the bat-wielding Marichal one way since the talked-about-for-50-years 1965 melee may come away with another view.
That won't be the case after an evening with Jerry Reuss' new book, Bring in the Right-Hander!: My Twenty-Two Years in the Major Leagues. Reuss was a fun (and a funny) guy as a Dodgers pitcher, he brought the same sense of humor to his job as an L.A. announcer, and he's full of it (uh, laughs) still today.
Also new in stores this spring is Mover and Shaker: Walter O'Malley, the Dodgers, and Baseball's Westward Expansion, by Andy McCue. When asked about what may be common misconceptions around the long-time Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers owner, McCue offered this: "I think the big thing was the realization that he wasn't as all-powerful as Bill Veeck and others said he was. He was highly influential but lost battles on many issues (expansion in 1969, the free agent draft). Also, he gilded his resume by claiming to be an engineer, when he pretty much avoided all math and science courses at Penn. His naiveté about Los Angeles, before he actually got here, was strong and contributed greatly to the political problems in getting Dodger Stadium approved and built." Interesting stuff.
From Los Angeles Times' editor and writer Houston Mitchell is If These Walls Could Talk: Los Angeles Dodgers: Stories from the Los Angeles Dodgers Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box, with the self-explanatory title and Yasiel Puig on the cover, so you know it covers the team right up through last season.
Older, but still very much fresh, books with "Dodgers" in the title include last year's Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers by Josh Suchon, 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Jon Weisman (2009) and Mark Langill's Game of My Life Dodgers: Memorable Stories of Dodgers Baseball (2007).
And then there's some non-Dodger books worth reading. Pete Rose never goes away, does he? Graying Southlanders recall thorn-in-the-side Rose as a member of what was then the National League West rival Cincinnati Reds. A new book by Sports Illustrated's Kostya Kennedy, Pete Rose: An American Dilemma, tackles the man's gambling, and as you might expect, how it may or may not relate to his Hall of Fame consideration in light of the drug abuse of other candidates. An apt title, to be sure, but you don't want get me started.
Here are two books that are personal favorites. The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip, 2nd: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums, by Josh Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell, was revised in 2012 to include new ballparks, Target Field and Marlins Park. And finally, Baseball's Golden Age: The Photographs of Charles M. Conlon, by Neal McCabe and Constance McCabe.
Remember, glove conquers all. Happy reading!
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