Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Last nite, Rob Neyer posted about Lenny Dykstra at his Sweet Spot blog. To me, the most interesting part was the last graf:

And speaking of books, most baseball players really aren't interesting enough to write about. Not in a serious biography, anyway. But Dykstra's different. Between his baseball career and his business adventures and the fractured relationship with his baseball-playing son, there's the makings here of a Shakespearian tragedy. The only problem is that you sort of have to wait until the ending, to really do the story justice.

Who else would Rob (or you) consider bio-worthy? Tacks Latimer had an interesting post-baseball life, but I doubt you could get a book out of it. His story is probably better suited for a film. Then again, no one knows who he is.


  1. Moe Berg, of course, has been done. Babe Ruth and Casey Stengel have been done by the absolute master, Bob Creamer.

    Ron LeFlore is even more interesting than Dykstra, really, but again the story hasn't ended and I hope his life gets less "interesting" from here on out.

    I think Frank Robinson is very interesting, but I think it's more of an introspective book you'd get out of it.

    Among modern players, I think Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter would both absolutely make interesting studies. But only if they were willing to come 100% clean, which few modern stars will ever do.

    Tony Pena - again if he were willing to give a real and invarnished look at his life - would be a fascinating study. The pieces in Rob Ruck's wonderful book _Tropic of Baseball_ on Pena were extremely interesting and I think Pena's led an even more interesting career since that time.

    But the one player I really hope writes a book - and takes a good long time over it and really thinks it through - after his career is over, is Milton Bradley. I think Milton is tremendously skilled, extremely smart, and comes to baseball from a very odd angle in the modern age. His story is long, long from finished of course.

  2. Tybalt. Good post. I'll mull it over as I prepare for work.

  3. 3 pitchers, Tybalt:

    Robin Roberts
    Jim Bunning
    Jim Bouton

  4. Some other pitchers that would probably merit a bio (I think Bunning is really boring though)...

    Byung-Hyun Kim
    Boomer Wells
    Hideo Nomo
    Dock Ellis
    Donnie Moore
    Joaquin Andujar

    and Donnie Moore makes me think Bill Buckner would be interesting, too. I have a very angry essay about Bill Buckner and his treatment by the world of baseball, still bubbling away slowly and silently in the darkest corner of my consciousness, that I will write one day.

  5. Oooh, Buckner sounds interesting. 1986 wasn't the first time he pulled a rock in the WS. Part of the reason I mentioned Bunning and Roberts was their doings in the early days of the Players Association. It's interesting. Marvin Miller gets the lion's share of pub for it, but isn't in the Hall of Fame. But Larry Fleisher is enshrined in Springfield and most of what I've read about the NBAPA focuses on the players like Robertson, Cousy, and Heinson.

  6. The one I can't believe I forgot is Oscar Charleston, who as Bill James pointed out years ago doesn't have a biography at all (whereas someone like his equivalent, DiMaggio, has dozens).