Ever since I sent The Golfing Bear to some Army buddies of mine and one of them suggested that I send it to the New Yorker (I did, but alas, it was rejected.), I've wanted to become a published author. I suppose I have already done so, in a way. Several of my short bios of Red Sox players have appeared in collections. But I've dreamed of writing a whole book myself.
I've thought about expanding my bio of Billy Southworth into a book-length work, but didn’t feel that I could get it as long as a publisher would want without a bunch of empty filler. I talked to one and they suggested that I profile one of the teams he managed. I thought about the 1948 team. (I have more info on them than any of his St Louis World Series clubs.) The pennant race wasn’t exciting in the NL that year, but I was thinking of something along the lines of the rise and fall of that team. Then a lightning bolt hit me. I should adopt the format of Breaks Of The Game by David Halberstam and profile the 1951 squad. It would be an interesting take on that year’s NL race; from the perspective of a fourth place team with a HOF manager at the end of his rope.
I took notes from Halberstam’s book to figure out how he intertwined the various storylines in that book and have read some newspaper stories from the spring of ‘51. No one really talks about how the Korean War affected baseball; among other issues that were surfacing around then. Since then, I‘ve collected news stories on that year. I even started a website. But I'm not sure how much commercial appeal such a book would have.
Other book ideas have included a bio of Bowie Kuhn (Important, but not commercially viable or timely.), a book on unlikely home run heroes, and one on the 14 or 15 guys who hit 4 home runs in a game. New Years is coming up. This may be fodder for a resolution.
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