By Dan Schlossberg
Whenever an author’s book hits the market, it’s high time for celebration.
Lots of blood, soil, sweat, and tears goes into every book, no matter how long or how complicated, and there are constant battles with editors and publishers — especially the 30-something marketing department that despises the author’s suggested title.
So it is with my newest, an illustrated, 184-page paperback now called Baseball’s Memorable Misses: an Unabashed Look at the Game’s Craziest Zeroes.
Equipped with a zany forward from fellow baseball author Doug Lyons, plus a series of cartoons from the late Ronnie Joyner, this book’s original title was Baseball Zeroes.
Quick, short, and best of all: easy to remember.
On sale for just $14.99, the book spans everything from All-Stars to has-beens, emphasizing things most fans assume must have happened but actually didn’t. As Oscar Madison once said, to assume anything means making an ass of u and me.
These are some samples, each beginning the number 0:
0 Number of times Willie Mays led his league in runs batted in
0 Cy Young Awards won by Nolan Ryan
0 Pennants won by the Seattle Mariners
0 Winning seasons by the Seattle Pilots
0 Players who homered for their 3000th hit before Wade Boggs
0 Seasons with 400 total bases by Willie, Mickey, or The Duke
0 Teammates who homered more often than Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews
0 National Leaguers with consecutive All-Star Game MVP awards
0 Batting titles by Houston Astros before Jose Altuve
0 No-hitters by Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Steve Carlton
0 Number of months Scooter Gennett had four homers before he hit four in one game
0 Rookies with 50-homer seasons before Aaron Judge
0 Players who cleared the Braves Field fences during that ballpark’s first 11 seasons
0 Wins by Anthony Young in 29 decisions as a starter
0 Weeks Wally Backman managed in the majors [Hired by Arizona during the 2004 off-season, he lasted four days before The New York Times revealed he’d been arrested twice. He was fired and replaced by Bob Melvin].
0 World championships for Tom Yawkey [He bought the Red Sox in 1933 and spent the next 44 years trying to build a World Series winner but never succeeded.]
0 Attendance at 2015 Oriole Park game [Spectators were barred in the wake of widespread unrest following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.]
0 Yankees-Dodgers World Series games missed by Pee Wee Reese [He played in all 44 games between the two New York-based teams between 1941 and 1956.]
Get the idea? If it didn’t happen but sounds like it should have, this tongue-in-cheek book is for you. Get it from amazon.com and decide whether to leave it in bedroom, the bathroom, or the living room.
It’s both a coffee-table book and a bathroom book, suitable for picking up any page and even reading it backwards.
And it’s loaded with anecdotes about The Good Old Days when there were zero divisions, zero playoffs, zero inter-league games, zero ghost-runners, and the main zeroes were posted on scoreboards by Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ writes baseball for Latino Sports, forbes.com, Sports Collectors Digest, USA TODAY Sports Weekly, Memories & Dreams, and assorted other outlets. E.mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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