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Tis the season for baseball books, part I

Ballpark DigestIt’s Cyber Monday — which means plenty of you are out shopping for baseball books. Here’s a shameless plug for baseball books and more from Ballpark Digest and August Publications.

To celebrate, we’re offering a few price breaks depending on how you buy the book. We’re offering free shipping if you buy a book from the August Publications website, while Amazon is offering price breaks on all these books during Cyber Monday.

We came out with three baseball books this year: Never a Bad Game, Cradle of the Game and the second edition of The Baseball Thesaurus. And, for the holiday season, we’re offering free shipping on any order!

Never a Bad GameFans of the Southern League have seen it all since the circuit was founded 50 years ago: colorful characters, charming ballparks, and some of the best baseball players showing their potential. From Matt Moore and Cal Ripken, Jr. to Michael Jordan and Jose Canseco, Mark McCarter has seen them all—and tells their stories with grace, humor, and style in Never a Bad Game: Fifty Years of the Southern League.

McCarter, the award-winning columnist for the Huntsville Times and the Alabama Media Group, shares his tales of the Southern League, his beat since 1976. From can’t-miss prospects like Cal Ripken, Jr. and Jose Canseco to some of the most colorful players in the minors, like Joe Charboneau and including a host of the biggest names in baseball (Bo Jackson, Chipper Jones, and Derrek Lee), Never a Bad Game: Fifty Years of the Southern League is a fascinating account of the people who make baseball what it is. With a foreword by the Atlanta Braves’ Craig Kimbrel, Never a Bad Game: Fifty Years of the Southern League is a must-read for any baseball fan. You can order Never a Bad Game from the August Publications website.

The glory of North Carolina baseball past and present is richly detailed in the Second Edition of Cradle of the Game: Baseball and Ballparks in North Carolina. The comprehensive volume explores minor-league and leading college ballparks large and small.  It will entertain readers interested in Tar Heel state baseball history, and serve as a guide to visitors of today’s ballparks.

The Tar Heel State has a special place in the baseball world; it’s a place where affiliated teams play at almost every level — from rookie ball to Triple-A — and college players complete in the NCAA and the Coastal Plain League. In Cradle of the Game, their stories are richly told, with a chapter devoted to each of the teams competing the state.

Cradle of the GameAuthor Mark Cryan has many years of North Carolina baseball experience, starting out in the business by working for legendary minor league executive Miles Wolff. Highlights of the book include interviews with Wolff, who talks about his involvement in making Bull Durham, as well as with legendary manager Jack McKeon, who reflects on life in the game. You can order Cradle of the Game from the August Publications website.

Baseball ThesaurusFinally, the second edition of The Baseball Thesaurus features more definitions, expanded meanings, and more vintage photographs.

Baseball is a sport with its own lingo — a colorful patois that’s developed over the years and millions of games. In The Baseball Thesaurus, a fascinating compendium of baseball terms, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler — broadcaster, storyteller, talker, voice — explains what baseball terms mean and how they came to be. Whether it’s Red Barber talking about the pea patch or Ernie Harwell discussing no-hitters, the language of America’s Pastime is brilliantly captured by Goldberg-Strassler. Sluggers deposit a Ballantine Blast in the nosebleeds. The top of the lineup sets the table for the heart of the order. Corner infielders guard the line. A lumberjack with a bad wheel staggers down the line while a glovesman flashes leather.

Who should read The Baseball Thesaurus? It’s for the media linguist whose job relies upon baseball jargon, the radio listener, the blog reader, the talk-show caller, the minor-league diehard, the Strat-O-Matic connoisseur, the seventh-inning stretcher, the stereotype breaker, the crank, the postgame fireworks enthusiast, the t-ball coach, the seamhead, the baseball Annie, the hot-stove moper, the bandwagoner, the purist, the casual rooter who enjoys a quick tidbit and has no need to attend both games of a doubleheader, and the fan who takes pride in scoring the game and teaching the tradition to others. You can order The Baseball Thesaurus at the August Publications website.

9781938532191_apWhile this isn’t a baseball book, here’s information about a book we were extremely proud to publish this year. When Jimmy Raye enrolled at Michigan State University in 1964, he did more than just enroll in a university hundreds of miles from his native Fayetteville, N.C.: he was part of a groundbreaking movement that changed college football forever.

is story, as well as his Spartan teammates and coach Duffy Daugherty, is told in Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, The Integration of College Football, and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. This the first book to fully explain Duffy Daugherty’s Underground Railroad and its impact on college football. History has not accorded Daugherty, Raye, and the Spartans proper credit for their roles in the integration of college football. Too many view Daugherty as recruiting a couple of All-American players from the South, winning a bunch of games with his 1965-66 teams and then having it all come to an end.

But that ignores the history made by Raye and the Spartans. In his junior season in 1966, Raye was Michigan State’s first black starting quarterback and the first black quarterback from the South to win a national title. The Michigan State team with a progressive head coach, a pioneer black quarterback, and the first fully integrated roster in college football is the subject of this engrossing new book by award-winning author Tom Shanahan. You can see more information about Raye of Light at the August Publications website.

Meanwhile, our books are available at Barnes & Noble stores (if it’s not on the shelf, demand a copy!) now and Books-A-Million stores, beginning in mid-December. We also have some exciting book releases in coming weeks: our complete guides to spring training should be available by the end of the week, and our complete guide to ballparks is set for release by the end of the year.

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