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

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