I’m so excited to tell all of you first that I have signed with the amazing folks at Dutton Publishing to write my next book: WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL. We literally just worked out the basic details, so there’s still a lot of stuff to iron out, such as timing. I would expect the book to be published in 2023.
Point is, it’s coming soon. I’m already in the writing process.
And, wow, this is going to be great. In so many ways, this is the book I’ve been wanting to write, well, all my life. I don’t know how interested you are in the background of how this book came about, but let me offer at least a little bit.
Have you ever read a book by E.H. Gombrich called A Little History of the World? It has its own fascinating history; he wrote this wonderful book in German for children back in 1935 — it was so sweet and loving and peaceful that it was actually banned in Nazi Germany, pushing him to flee to England the next year.
Gombrich long thought about translating it into English, but he never did — the book was not available in English until after his death in 2001.
We like to have fun here at Joe Blogs. Baseball. Football. Tennis. Chess. Family. Basketball. Music. Infomercials. Movies. Olympics. Hockey. Nonsense. Magic. In short, it’s an adventure. I hope you’ll come along.
And it is exactly what the title describes: It’s a little history of the world written not only for children but to children.
“All stories,” Gombrich wrote, “begin with ‘Once upon a time.’ And that’s just what this story is all about; what happened, once upon a time.”
I love that book so much … and don’t see it at all as a children’s book. It’s a book for everyone, adults and children alike, a little history of the world told through stories and tidbits and legends and wonderful insights. From memory, I remember a passage from a chapter on ancient Greece:
“But one thing united the Greeks: their religion and their sport. And I say ‘one thing’ because, strangely enough, sport and religion weren’t two separate things — they were closely connected.”
Could have been about the Greeks … could have been about Alabama football too.
Anyway, after reading A Little History of the World, the idea kind of exploded in my mind: I wanted to do something a little bit like that but for baseball.
But I didn’t want it to be a history, exactly. There are a lot of baseball histories, going back to the very beginning, taking people through the early days of base ball (two words), the founding of the National League, the founding of the American League, Dead Ball, segregation, Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, free agency, on and on. Many of those histories are wonderful, and I don’t think I could do them any better.
No, I wanted it to be something else, a different kind of history, short and sweet and surprising and fun and filled with stories. I have been bouncing around that notion in my mind for many years, throwing ideas at walls, scribbling down thoughts on index cards, giving up and then starting over again.
And now, finally, after The Baseball 100, I think I finally have the concept: So what is WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL?
Well, on the surface, it will be a countdown of the 50 most pivotal, monumental and awesome moments in baseball history. That’s the easy elevator pitch.
But if I do this right — and I don’t want to give too much away yet since I’m only just beginning — this will be unlike any countdown. If I do this right, you will never see the next one coming. If I do this right, WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL will be a wild little history of baseball, a time machine taking you to all the baseball places you want to go, a constant surprise even for the most passionate baseball fan, and a reminder of, well, why we love baseball.
I guess I better do this right.
I will obviously keep you updated here as things move along. And we’ll have all sorts of WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL bonus content as we get much closer. But for now, I just wanted to let you know that I’m about to start another madcap adventure, and I hope you’ll want to come along. Thanks, everybody.