Baseball America Reviews the Casebook

Given that so much of their focus is on draft picks and prospects — the NEXT thing, rather than baseball history — you wouldn’t necessarily expect Baseball America to give coverage to a Hall of Fame book, but the beauty of the topic is that it resonates in so many places. BA’s Matt Eddy gave the Casebook a wonderful review. In part:

“The Cooperstown Casebook” is essential reading for all baseball history enthusiasts and is recommended for anyone interested in intelligent discourse about the Hall of Fame.

Jaffe writes informative, entertaining capsules about every player enshrined in Cooperstown, from inner-circle members to the most dubious Veterans Committee selections. He devotes space to more than 50 additional players who deserve at least some consideration for the Hall, saving the most deserving for pullout essays that precede each of the “Around The Diamond” chapters.

…It is the most comprehensive, most enjoyable evaluation of the Hall of Fame since [Bill] James two decades earlier. I know I will return to “The Cooperstown Casebook” year after year to get my Hall of Fame fix.

 

 

Mega Q&A with Instream Sports’ Dave Jordan

The co-author of an acclaimed book that I can’t wait to read later this summer — Fastball John, written with heat-throwing 1970s journeyman pitcher John D’Acquisto — and the founder of Instream Sports (“the first athlete-author website”), Dave Jordan combined a lengthy review of The Cooperstown Casebook with an epic Q&A, then studded it with some fun videos relevant to the topic at hand. You’ll want to pack a lunch for this one.

This is a fantastic reference tome, and yet for guys like me who were more Zander Hollander than Bill James growing up, you’ll find the individual career recaps reminiscent of The Complete Handbook of Baseball, if not the late 90’s-early aughts STATS Inc Scouting Handbook annuals. What sets the 400-plus page book apart from those that preceded it is Jaffe’s sensitivity to historical context, in addition to his passion at seeking as impartial a determination of greatness as possible. It’s also a classy touch that he uses the introduction to applaud every single ballplayer who ever stepped over the white lines in an official Major League game. Jaffe’s presentation betrays a nuance, a deft touch, whether it’s praising the achievements of a disgraced player or a social media pariah. A baseball writer and sabrmetrican, highly-respected by the younger statisticians in the sport, Jaffe displays a humanity for the achievements of these great men without losing objectivity, and in some cases, a biting sense of humor.

 

 

Rounded Up Reviews I

Logging a couple of brief ones that were included along with other books:

• The Christian Science Monitor, “6 baseball books for midseason reading,” by Ross Atkin, July 11, 2017

For those who like to wade into the statistical weeds of baseball – to analyze player performance using today’s advanced metrics – “The Cooperstown Casebook” delivers.

Not to be confused with Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, a name that’s sure to be in the news as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.

• Newsday, “What’s New,” by Tom Beer, July 25, 2017

This one is strictly for hard-core fans, and it’s sure to generate heated debate.

I’ll beg to differ on that score, but I appreciate the coverage!

Put a Star Next to That One

Booklist_StarReview_badge

I’m pleased to report that The Cooperstown Casebook has received a starred review in the new issue of the American Library Association Booklist, a trade publication aimed at libraries, educators, and booksellers. The first of what I hope is many good reviews to come.

If Cooperstown is the most hallowed hall of fame in American sport, then who does or doesn’t belong there may be the most enduring and animating topic among baseball fans. Baseball analyst Jaffe (SI.com, MLB Network) serves the discussion with distinction here… Jaffe pulls no punches here, yet he shares enough pure information to make this nearly indispensable for informed debate. —Alan Moores