Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine has announced the finalists for the 2012 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year. UNP’s Connie Mack by Norman L. Macht and Banzai Babe Ruth by Robert K. Fitts were among the finalists.
The CASEY Award started in 1983 as a way to honor the authors and publishers of outstanding baseball books. See the other CASEY Award finalists here.
Connie Mack: The Turbulent and Triumphant Years, 1915-1931 was one of the UNP’s Spring 2012 season releases. The novel describes a rough period in the life of the Philadelphia Athletics founder and manager, Connie Mack. The A’s fell from pennant winners to last place and stayed there for seven years, but against all odds, Mack brought them back to the top. Norman is a baseball biographer and historian. This is Norman’s second nomination for the award, his UNP book, Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball, was nominated in 2007.
"Like the man he continues to so capably chronicle, Norman Macht is astute, authoritative, and meticulous. If you want to learn about twentieth-century baseball, you'll have to read this book."—Bob Edmonds, McCormick Messenger
Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, and Assassination during the 1934 Tour of Japan was also released during the Spring 2012 season. The book describes the 1934 All American baseball tour. A team of American League all-stars, including Babe Ruth, toured Japan playing baseball in a failed attempt to generate good feelings and help heal growing political differences between the two countries. Fitts spins a tale of nationalism, American and Japanese cultural history, and of course, baseball. Fitts is trained as an archeologist of colonial America, but left that field to focus on his passion, Japanese baseball.
"Banzai Babe Ruth reads like a multi-stranded mystery novel . . . . Fitts has an eye for the quirky details that make historical writing vivid."—Michael R. Stevens, Books & Culture
Congratulations and good luck to Norman and Rob!