The Love of Baseball

Essays by Lifelong Fans

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About the Book

Written by and for baseball fans (or those trying to live with one), this collection of essays joins a perennial conversation all fans have—“Why do we love baseball?” Thirty contributors share personal narratives of how they found an abiding passion for the sport and how their relationship to it changed over the years. Tracing the thematic arc of a typical season, the essays begin with stories of spring training optimism, followed by the guts and grind of the regular season, and ending with the glory (or heartbreak) of the playoffs.

About the Author(s)

Chris Arvidson is a writer who has worked in nonprofit communications and politics. She lives in West Jefferson, North Carolina.

Diana Nelson Jones lives in Pittsburgh, where she is a reporter and columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Chris Arvidson and Diana Nelson Jones

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6983-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3032-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Part I. Spring Training 3
Somewhere the Sun Is Shining (Diana Nelson Jones) 4
Opening Days (Glenn B. Marcus) 11
Throw Like a Girl (Rebecca Bratcher Laxton) 17
Meet My Best Friend, John Hiller (Tom Stanton) 23
Walk ’Em Home (Victoria Stopp) 28
The Language of the Gods (Brendan ­O’Meara) 32

Part II. The Season 39
The Ten Commandments of a Baseball Fan (As Taught to Me by My Wife) (Henry Doss) 40
The Girl from Cleveland (Nancy A. Gutierrez) 46
Becoming a Yankees Fan During the Horace Clarke Years (David Wolin) 51
Get a Shower Before Somebody Gets Hurt (Julie E. Townsend) 56
Walk-Off in St. Louis (Caroline Kane Kenna) 60
Love, Hate, Cubs (David E. Malehorn) 65
Mom, Dad, Ernie and Paul (Stephen P. Ward) 73
Finding Home: My Grandfather and the House of David Baseball Team (Juanita ­Ramsey-Jevne) 78
What Is That Blue Man Doing? (Ellyn Ritterskamp) 85
Dark as a Dungeon: Coal Country Baseball (Jody DiPerna) 90
Pete Rose Way (L.C. Fiore) 96
How Gus Greenlee, Sonnyman Jackson and the Numbers Barons Saved Black Baseball (Kevin Kirkland) 102
A Little More with Every Pitch (Lawrence Lawson) 109
My Inheritance (Karen Hamilton) 117
Citizen Cal (Robyn Barberry) 123
She Just Wanted to Play (Rachel Pfennig Hales) 130
Big Ed: The Ballplayer in Decline (Stephen Kirk) 135
Resume Play (Elizabeth Scott Leik) 140
Base-Bawling (Jean C. ­O’Brien) 145

Part III. The Post-Season 149
Maz’s Homer (Joseph Bathanti) 150
Jackie (Douglas J. Butler)154
Hey, Hey and Holy Cow (Becky Mason Stragand) 161
Confessions of a ­Yet-to-Be Fan (Sam Watson) 166
Nothing Else Like It (Chris Arvidson) 171

About the Contributors 177
Index 183