Spitball Magazine

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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

Novermber 19, 2019

Cincinnati, Ohio

Finalists for 2019 CASEY Award Announced


Spitball Magazine is pleased to announce that the following books have been named as Finalists for the 2019 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year:

Ballpark: Baseball in the American City (Alfred A. Knopf) by Paul Goldberger;

Baseball Revolutionaries: How the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Rocked the Country and Made Baseball Famous (Baseball Revolutionaries Press) by Greg Rhodes, John Erardi, and Greg Gajus;

Chumps to Champs: How the Worst Teams in Yankees History Led to the 90’s Dynasty (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Bill Pennington;

Homegrown: How the Red Sox Built a Champion from the Ground Up (William Morrow) by Alex Speier;

Inside the Empire: the True Power behind the New York Yankees (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Bob Klapisch and Paul Solotaroff;

K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches (Doubleday) by Tyler Kepner;

The Legendary Harry Caray: Baseball's Greatest Salesman (Rowman & Littlefield) by Don Zminda;

Let’s Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, The Life of Ernie Banks (Hachette Books) by Ron Rapoport;

The MVP Machine: How Baseball’s New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players (Basic Books) by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik;

Oscar Charleston: The Life and Legend of Baseball’s Greatest Forgotten Player (University of Nebraska Press) by Jeremy Beer;

Scouting and Scoring: How We Know What We Know about Baseball (Princeton University Press) by Christopher J. Phillips; and

They Bled Blue: Fernandomania, Strike-Season Mayhem, and the Weirdest Championship Baseball Had Ever Seen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Jason Turbow.

Spitball Editor Mike Shannon had this to say about the announcement: “We are highly pleased and indeed impressed with this year’s field of Finalists. The range and quality of the baseball thought, research, and writing represented by these 12 books is spectacular. Each and every one of these books is an achievement to be proud of, and this year’s list confirms that we are still truly living through the “Golden Age” of baseball books, which began in the 1980s. (Forget the length of the current bull stock market which pales in comparison and is fraudulent anyway!) Picking the CASEY winner from this list of winners will be no easy assignment; fortunately, we have a distinguished Judges panel that we are certain will be up to the task. We congratulate all the Nominated authors and the publishers of these fine books, and wish them luck in the competition. Finally, we applaud and sympathize with the authors and publishers of other outstanding baseball books released in 2019 not on the list; our only excuse for leaving them out is the necessity of whittling down the list of contenders to something the Judges can properly handle in the time permitted.”

            The 35th annual CASEY Awards Banquet will take place on a Sunday afternoon at Crosley’s Sports Bar & Eatery in Cincinnati, Ohio, in March 2020. A specific date for the Banquet will be announced on this website after the Judges have chosen the winner of the 2019 CASEY Award.


 


November 15, 2019

Cincinnati, OH

Fall Issue #85 Has Arrived at the Office and Will Be Mailed November 22

   

We have finally received from the printer the Fall issue, #85, with the beautiful Mickey Mantle cover by our good buddy, Todd Doney; and it will be mailed to all subscribers, advertisers, and publishers of books which are reviewed in the issue on Friday, November 22. The issue contains Mark Schraf's always scintillating "Cooperstown Report"; another installment of "Chapbook Corner" (Jim LaVilla Havelin's "What The Diamond Does Is Hold It All In"); wonderful short stories by Tim Tocher and Steve Myers; amusing memoirs by Pete Cava ("Ninth Man Out: Remembrances from the Filming of Eight Men Out") and Chris Ladd ("Baseball and the Brothel"); poems by Thomas Reynolds and Michael Meagher; reviews of 2019 baseball books; and more. As always, it will provide many moments of pleasurable baseball reading. It will also be an immediate sell-out, so if you are not a subscriber, better sign up today!






August 16, 2019

Cincinnati, OH 

Judges' Panel for 2019 CASEY Award Announced

Spitball is pleased to announce that the Judges for the 2019 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year will be Dave Grob (Woodbridge, VA), Michael Leahy (Centreville, VA), and C.W. Spooner (Aliso Viejo, CA). Dave Grob is a retired Army Officer currently employed in a civilian capacity by the Department of Defense at the Pentagon. A native Cincinnatian and lifelong Reds fan, Grob is the co-author of Game Worn: Baseball Treasures from the Game's Greatest Heroes and Moments, a past CASEY Award Finalist. He is also the nation's foremost authenticator of vintage major league baseball uniforms. A long time writer for the Washington Post and Washington Post Magazine, Michael Leahy has won numerous awards for his perceptive and empathetic writing. The author of the best book about Michael Jordan (When Nothing Else Matters), Leahy has had work selected for the Best American Sports Writing anthology four times. The Last Innocents, his book about the L. A. Dodgers, won the 2016 CASEY Award. C. W. Spooner is the author of two novels, '68, and Street Cred, two collections of short stories, and a collection of essays, memoirs, and poems (Yeah, What Else? ). He has published several short stories in Spitball and is a Lifetime Subscriber to the Magazine. Editor Mike Shannon had this to say about the panel for 2019: "We could not be more pleased to sit this panel of highly qualified Judges who are passionate about baseball and good writing. They have a tough task ahead of them, but we have every confidence they will perform like Hall of Famers and identify the book which deserves to be considered the Best Baseball Book of the Year. We are grateful for their willingness to serve." The list of Finalists for the 2019 CASEY Award will be announced in early November.



June 3, 2019

Cincinnati, OH

ISSUE # 84 SOLD OUT (almost)

Spitball's latest issue, the special devoted to the 1919 Chicago Black Sox World Series, has been published and mailed to all subscribers. This scintillating issue, #84, features five outstanding short stories by Tim Tocher, Joe Zureick, Sean Carroll, Mark Walling, and Jeff Stanger on various aspects of the scandal; as well as striking "Black Sox" poems by David S. Pointer, Joseph Stanton, and Tim Peeler; a prose musing by ex-Los Angeles Dodger Wes Parker; and a mini-graphic "Black Sox" novel, illustrated by the inimitable Scott Hannig. Wonderful Shoeless Joe Jackson art by the talented, nationally recognized Thom Ross graces the cover. This issue is almost completely SOLD OUT. The few copies that remain for sale are available at $15 each, one copy per customer; and may be ordered only through the US mail. Send a check or M.O. to Spitball Magazine, 536 Lassing Way, Walton, KY 41094.

March 4, 2019

Cincinnati, OH


Rob Neyer Wows 'em at 36th Annual CASEY Awards Banquet 

The 36th annual CASEY Awards Banquet was another sold-out affair and was highlighted by CASEY Award-winner Rob Neyer's fascinating and wide-ranging discussion of his winning book, Power Ball, and recent analytical trends which have dominated the game at the major league level and caused some fans to consider that game less interesting than its predecessor. The usual festivities were part of the afternoon, including door-prize give-aways, a shout-it-out trivia quiz based on 2018's baseball books, a display of all baseball books published in 2018, an appearance by BALLZAK, the Magnificent, a rundown of all books Nominated as Finalists for the 2018 CASEY, and Mr. Neyer's acceptance speech. After his formal remarks, Neyer took questions from the audience for almost 45 minutes. Author John Erardi was also on hand and accepted a Nomination Award for his biography, Tony Perez : From Cuba to Cooperstown. It was another very special event, and Spitball thanks all the Nominated authors and publishers, everyone who helped stage the event, especially Scott Schmidt of Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery, and all those loyal fans of baseball literature who attended. It's because of that latter group that the CASEY Awards Banquet has become the premier Hot Stove League event on the baseball calendar!


January 23, 2019

Cincinnati, OH

ROB NEYER WINS 2018 CASEY Award for Powerball

Spitball is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year is Rob Neyer and HarperCollins for Powerball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game. In a field crowded with outstanding contenders, Powerball beat out the second-place finisher, The Big Fella by Jane Leavy, also by Harper, by two points; and the third-place book, Baseball in a Grain of Sand by Bill Gruber and McFarland and Co., by three points. Judge Mike Miller singled out Powerball for "holding my attention from the first to last word," and Judge Luke Salisbury called it a "must-read for fans desiring to learn more about the new analytics." Spitball Editor Mike Shannon praised the book about a single major league game as "an astute up-date on an ingenious type of baseball book with a impressive tradition. Rob took an idea first used brilliantly by Arnold Hano and Dan Okrent, and he made it thoroughly his own, turning in a virtuoso performance." Shannon also praised the Judges of the 2018 CASEY Award, Bob Mayberry, Miller, and Salisbury, for a job well done: "Judging the CASEY is always a Ruthian task, but this year the Judges had to work overtime since the normal field of ten books was expanded by two books. We are grateful for their service and the time and effort they put into the job." Spitball congratulates all the authors and publishers Nominated as Finalists for the 2018 CASEY Award. The date of the 36th Annual CASEY Awards Banquet will be announced on this website in the near future.





October 10, 2016 
Walton, KY
NEW MAILING ADDRESS

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.



BACK ISSUE SET
Complete sets of Spitball Magazine are not available, as numerous past issues are completely SOLD OUT. We do, however, offer back issue lots, containing 15-20 different back issues. The differing number of issues available is the result of supplies on hand and finds/repurchases of past issues. The current price of the Back Issues Lot is $60, postpaid.

PayPal Function Available for Purchase of Sample Copies
Sample copies may now be purchased via the PayPal function on this website. Simply go to the Store page and scroll down until you see "Sample Copy: $6" right below the "Lifetime Subscriber" offer.

   
 LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION 
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.