Everybody knows there are as many books about baseball as there are blades of grass in an outfield. The Big Baseball Bonanza brings together authors of three of these books that focus on characters in baseball history. Tom Swift's biography Chief Bender's Burden examines the career of American Indian pitcher Charles Bender. Swift looks at how a hugely successful hurler could be simultaneously so hated for his race and so adored for his arm. Daniel R. Levitt takes baseball fans back to a time before the New York Yankees were the most successful (and hated) team in the history of professional sports. In The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees' First Dynasty, he tells the story of Ed Barrow, the man who took the Yankees from a team that hadn't won a single pennant to baseball's perennial juggernaut. Peter Schilling Jr.'s debut novel, The End of Baseball, is a fantasy that grows out of lore surrounding Bill Veeck Jr., who claimed in his memoirs that in the 1940s he had planned on buying a baseball team and creating a lineup made of top Negro League players, but the racist commissioner wouldn't allow it. Schilling spins the tale as if the sale had gone through and Veeck was allowed to take on racism, politics, and baseball's status quo.
Sat., April 12, 6 p.m., 2008