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Book news 2: A tale of Shammies and Smoke Eaters

Root for the Home TeamAnother book worth checking out: Tim Hagerty, the voice of the Tucson Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), has authored an entertaining overview of unusual team names and their histories.

Root For the Home Team: Minor League Baseball’s Most Off-the-Wall Team Names and the Stories Behind Them (Cider House Press; $12.95) covers unusual team names from all 50 states and Canada, ranging from the Mobile Oyster Grabbers to the Vancouver Horse Doctors. The format is efficient: three home names are highlighted on each page, meaning the 100-or-so pages make for a quick, light but fact-filled read. You could easily down the whole book in one sitting or set it aside and savor it over several days.

Some more depth might have been illuminating (not only are the Frederick Keys named for Francis Scott Key, but you can kinda see Key’s tomb marker from the front of the team’s ballpark) and there are a few inaccuracies (Sioux City is in northwest Iowa, not northeast Iowa), but all in all it’s an excellent read. Recommended.


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