Spitball Magazine

Spitball Baseball Magazine Bat

Spitball is a literary baseball magazine founded in 1981 and dedicated to poetry, short fiction, prose, art, and book reviews; all devoted to baseball. In 1983 Spitball established the CASEY Award to honor the authors and publishers of the best baseball books published each year. The CASEY was the first award of its kind, and it is widely recognized as the most prestigious award that a baseball book can be given.

 A key component of Spitball's mission is the timely publication of authoritative, lively, and appreciative reviews of quality baseball books. These reviews can be found in our Baseball Books Reviewed section. We also publish short and to-the-point reviews of current baseball books in the "Baseball Book News" column at the back of each issue of Spitball Magazine.

Spitball's Latest News

January 17, 2017
Fall Issue Late But Heading to the Printer Soon

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Fall 2016 issue (#79) has not appeared yet. However, it is almost ready to go to the printer, and we will get back on schedule by publishing the Spring 2017 issue (#80) in a more timely manner. As usual, the tardy Fall 2016 issue will be worth the wait. It will feature terrific short fiction by Bill Meissner, C. W. Spooner, and Joe Zureick; wonderful poems by Kevin Miller, Lorine Parks, Edwin Romond, Tim Tocher, Alan Harawitz, and William Derge; and a prose excursion into the world of baseball and crossword puzzles by Michael Dewey. Another edition of Chapbook Corner (examining Steve Brightman's tour de force "In Brilliant Explosions Alone") and Mark Schraf's riveting Cooperstown Report, a new Card Blanche, and brief reviews of some of the best recently published baseball books (in Baseball Book News) round out this pleasure-packed issue. A Scott Hannig action painting of Hall of Famer Mike Piazza will grace the cover. If you aren't already a subscriber, join us today so that you don't miss this eye-popping Spitball!

November 17, 2016
2016 CASEY Award Finalists Announced

Spitball is pleased to announce that the following books have been named as Finalists for the 2016 CASEY Award:

The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports (Harper) by Jeff Passan

The Baseball Whisperer: A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Michael Tackett

Bucky F*cking Dent (novel) (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by David Duchovny

Game Worn: Baseball Treasures from the Game's Greatest Heroes and Moments (Smithsonian Books) by Stephen Wong & Dave Grob

The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers (Harper) by Michael Leahy

The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team (Henry Holt) by Ben Lindbergh & Sam Miller

Playing with Tigers: A Minor league Chronicle of the Sixties (University of Nebraska Press) by George Gmelch

The Selling of the Babe: The Deal that Changed Baseball and Created a Legend (Thomas Dunne Books) by Glenn Stout

Terror in the City of Champions: Murder, Baseball, and the Secret Society that Shocked Depression-Era Detroit (Lyons Press) by Tom Stanton

Wild in the Strike Zone: Baseball Poems (Rank Stranger Press) by Tim Peeler

Spitball congratulates the authors and publishers of these fine books and wishes them all the best of luck in the competition for the 34th CASEY Award. Please check back for information on the date and place of the 34th CASEY Awards Banquet.

October 29, 2016
2016 CASEY Award Judges Panel Announced

Spitball is pleased to announce that the following will judge the 2016 CASEY Award:
Avery Comarow (Potomac, MD). An editor and writer at U.S. News & World Report for 30 years, Avery has also played third base in the Ponce De Leon Baseball League in the Washington, DC area for 22 years;
Zach Sanzone (Boston, MA). A graduate of Hartwick College and Boston University and a high school English teacher, Zach covers the Tampa Bay Rays for SBNation.com and writes for YawkeyWayReport.com;
Jeff Singleton (Cincinnati, OH). A long-time health care administrator, Jeff is a veteran of Cincinnati Reds fantasy camps and a Reds season ticket holder for 22 years.
Spitball Editor Mike Shannon praised the panel, saying, "This is an outstanding group of seasoned, intelligent baseball fans who love to read baseball books. We have the utmost confidence that they will render a decision that is worthy of the great lineup of CASEY Award Finalists for 2016." The list of CASEY Award Finalists for 2016 will be announced in a few days.

October 12, 2016
Walton, KY

Attention Book Publishers: Last Call for 2016 CASEY Award

Spitball is in the final stages of determining which books will be named as Finalists for the 2016 CASEY Award, for Best Baseball Book of the Year. All authors and publishers of baseball books released in 2016 are urged to check this website to make sure that a review copy of their book has reached the Spitball office. If the book is NOT listed on the "Current Baseball Books" page, we have NOT received it and it is not being considered for the CASEY Award. ALL books received by Spitball are automatically considered for the CASEY, but we must receive a review copy of the book. Publishers, please do not penalize your authors by failing to help us consider their titles; and authors, please urge your publisher to do their duty if you find that they have overlooked it.

October 10, 2016
Walton, KY

It's official: Spitball now has a new mailing address, and all books for review, submissions, and correspondence should be mailed to:
536 Lassing Way
Walton, KY 41094
Please make a note of our new address.

August 24, 2016
Cincinnati, OH
Winding Down as Spitball Prepares to Move

For a limited time, Spitball is offering Back Issue sets for the super low price of $25 ... POSTPAID! This is a chance to pick up a good number of issues of the Magazine for a song. We guarantee you will receive at least 15 different issues and perhaps as many as 17, 18, 19, or 20, depending on a number of factors, such as our current stock, finds of misplaced stock, and buy-backs we make to replenish our stock of SOLD OUT issues. Several of the older issues that will be included regularly sell on the open market for $5-10 each, so this is a great deal for anyone who wants to build a complete set of Spitball or simply wants a stack of great literary baseball reading. We are making this special offer in anticipation of a move of the Spitball office, and we cannot promise that it will last more than a couple of months. Don't delay. Order your set today!

March 14, 2016
Cincinnati, OH

Charles Leerhsen Accepts 2015 CASEY Award before another Packed House at Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery

Yesterday, March 13, Charles Leerhsen, author of Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty (Simon & Schuster), accepted the 2015 CASEY Award before another large and enthusiastic crowd of baseball savants who congregated at Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery in St. Bernard, OH, a suburb of Cincinnati. Leerhsen treated the crowd to an extremely interesting speech, which provided fascinating insights into his approach to his subject. He revealed that he went into the project believing, like most people, that Cobb was a "monster" of a human being with few redeeming qualities, but then spent about ten minutes of research before finding the first evidence that totally contradicted the caricature of personality that had been fixed in the public's minds for decades; primarily by the outrageous invented assertions of unscrupulous men's magazine writer Al Stump. Leerhsen went on to explain how he was able to explode several pernicious Cobb myths, particularly the ideas that Cobb was a racist, that he sharpened his spikes in order to intimidate and intentionally injure other players, and that other players disliked him; and in the process come to the conclusion that the public did not know the real Ty Cobb at all. After his remarks, Leerhsen fielded questions from the audience for more than half an hour and later signed numerous copies of his CASEY-win
ning book. Casey Award Finalist Gary Cieradkowski was also on hand to accept his Nomination Award for The League of Outsider Baseball: An Illustrated History of Baseball's Forgotten Heroes. Cieradkowski's book was also published by Simon & Schuster.
    Spitball Magazine, the sponsor of the CASEY Awards program, thanks Scott Schmidt of Crosley's, all the friends of the CASEY who attended the 33rd annual CASEY Awards Banquet, and the Judges of the 2015 CASEY (Brian Baughan, Dan Neville, and Dennis Snelling) for a job well done. The Magazine also congratulates all the authors and publishers of the great baseball books which were Finalists for the 2015 CASEY.

November 24, 2015
Cincinnati, OH
2015 CASEY Award Finalists Announced
The editors of Spitball are pleased to announce that the following books have been named as finalists for the 2015 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year:

The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball (Oxford University Press) by Charles Fountain
Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Bill Pennington
The Colonel and Hug: The Partnership that Transformed the New York Yankees (University of Nebraska Press) by Steve Steinberg & Lyle Spatz
Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII (Thomas Dunne Books) by John Klima
Swing: A Novel (Van Buren) by Philip Beard
Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty (Simon & Schuster) by Charles Leerhsen
Spitball congratulates the authors and publishers of all ten finalists and wishes them the best of luck in the judging process now underway. Editor Mike Shannon had this to say about the
selection process: "As usual, it was no easy task to whittle the competition down to these ten books, and we are the first to say that outstanding books which we also greatly admire got left off the list. However, it's inevitable, if the judging process is to remain a manageable proposition for the judges who are required to read on average a book per week, and if the great honor of being named a Finalist is not to be diluted. More importantly, we are confident that the best Baseball Book of the Year is on this list, and we look forward to the Judges' decision, whatever it may be." Spitball also thanks all publishers who sent the Magazine review copies of their books throughout the year, as well as all those who were nominated for the 2015 CASEY Award.
Please revisit this website soon for news about the site and date of the 33rd Annual CASEY Awards Banquet, at which the winner of the 2015 CASEY will be presented his beautiful blue & gold Louisville Slugger CASEY baseball bat!

    Spitball and Minor Trips Digest Both Mailed

May 14, 2016
Cincinnati, OH
Both Spitball #78 (Spring 2016) and the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Minor Trips Digest have been mailed, and all subscribers should have received their copy by now. Spitball #78 has a light blue cover and features Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer as the cover boy; the issue includes Mark Schraf's profile of baseball artist Leslie Brown, Jr. and the Spitball Interview with writer, humorist, and novelist Bob Carson; in addition to the usual outstanding mix of baseball fiction, poetry, art, and book reviews. The Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Minor Trips Digest features Asheville, North Carolina's McCormick Field on its purple cover and the annual Guide to all minor league teams and their ballparks; in addition to the usual mix of reports, news, info, fiction, art, travel suggestions, and schedules ... all related to minor league baseball and traveling to minor league games. Any subscriber who has not received his issue of either of these releases should contact Mike Shannon at spitball5@hotmail.com. And thanks to all of you for your support of these unique baseball publications.

New Rate in Effect for LIFETIME Subscriptions
(See below)
New Price in Effect; Recognition for Lifetime Subscribers Coming Soon
When you invest in a LIFETIME Subscription to Spitball, you not only avoid the hassle of renewing every year, thereby saving us the trouble of reminding you to do so, you also guarantee that you will never miss an issue of the magazine. Ever. Most important of all, you help support the second oldest all-baseball periodical extant and the only one that is of a literary nature. The price for a LIFETIME Subscription has gone up $25 to $125, but that is still a remarkable value. Make yourself the envy of all your baseball buddies by becoming a Spitball LIFETIME Subscriber today! Visit the store page of this website to order your lifetime subscription.  

Lifetime Subscribers are now acknowledged on a special page on the Spitball website. In addition, each Lifetime Subscriber is presented, as a token our appreciation, with a handsome certificate, meant to be framed and hung proudly in his home or office. Thanks to all subscribers and especially to those who have made a lifetime commitment to the Magazine.