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

September 22, 2015

New Poem of the Month by D. M. Quinn

We are still trying to catch up the New Poems page of this website. The latest is a sharp haiku from D. M. Quinn.

Five New Poems of the Month, Plus One from Cooperstown by Editor Mike Shannon
August 7, 2015
We are still trying to catch up with the website's "Poem of the Month" feature, but we have recently added five new poems, for June-October of 2014 by Yates Young, Eleanor Scott, Kevin Miller, David A. Petreman, and Tim Peeler. Check 'em out! Here also is a poem by Mike Shannon, just back from the Hall of Fame Inductions in Cooperstown. Mike has now covered the Inductions there for one publication or another for 30 consecutive years. According to Mike, "Hall of Fame Weekend never gets old."

 Craig Biggio Leads Off the Class of 2015

The sweltering sun beat down like a punishment
On the crowd massed before the immortals, fanning
Themselves under the cover of the big twin-peaked tent.
Designated pitchers like Red Cross volunteers
Went up and down the aisles passing out bottles of water,
Gulped or poured over steaming heads bald as baseballs.
As Houston fans, used to the heat, poked the sky with
Their coded homemade BGO signs, you got to your favorite
Part of your speech: You and Matt Galante practicing before
Practice on the half diamond in Kissimmee, working some
More before the game, and then getting more reps after
That in heat as memorable as Cooperstown’s. You wanted
Us to know what it took for you to shed all that gear and the
Squat you’d mastered in order to learn a new dance.
Galante taught you to shade and move so well his mantel
Became your first Gold Glove’s final resting place. And, then,
On your way here you moved again, as far away as you 
Could get from where you started, to cooler pastures.



Minor Trips Newsletter Spring 2015 Issue Released

May 18, 2015
The Spring 2015 issue of Minor Trips, " The First, the Finest, the Friendliest Publication for Fans of Baseball Travel," has been released, and copies were mailed to all current subscribers on May 9. The copies were sent out by first class postage which means that all subscribers should have received their copies by now. If you are a paid-up subscriber and have not received your copy of the Spring issue, which contains the Guide to all Minor League teams, plus a Guide to the 26 Summer College (Wooden Bat) Leagues, please contact Editor Mike Shannon at spitball5@hotmail.com. Cost of a subscription to Minor Trips remains $15; the cost of each Gift Subscription remains $10. Recipients of Gift Subscriptions at this point will be mailed BOTH the January and the April (Spring) issue. The Editor wishes to thank all subscribers for their support, especially those who sent in more money than required. A sample copy of Spitball Magazine is being mailed as a Thank You to all such benefactors.

Issue #76, Spring 2015

May 11, 2015
We regret to say that the latest issue of Spitball is already completely SOLD OUT! Unexpected demand from readers of our sister publication, Minor Trips Newsletter, wiped us out. Therefore, all new requests for sample copies will be fulfilled by sending copies of previous issues. In addition, new subscribers who wish to start with the current issue will have to be sent the latest available issue, which is currently Fall 2014, #75. We apologize for this inconvenience and remind everyone that the best and only way to ensure that you receive every future copy of Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine is to become a subscriber.

Kostya Kennedy Captivates Crowd at 32nd Annual CASEY Awards Banquet!
Another Full House at Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery
March 16, 2015
Cincinnati, OH
The 32nd Annual CASEY Awards Banquet was held yesterday at Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery in Cincinnati, the Literary Baseball Capitol of the World; and the 2014 CASEY winner Kostya Kennedy was on hand to captivate and delight another packed house of CASEY supporters.
    Kennedy, who won his second CASEY Award for Pete Rose: An American Dilemma, spoke for about 10 minutes after accepting his blue & gold Louisville Slugger CASEY Award, and then fielded questions from the audience for about 30 minutes before spending another half hour or 45 minutes signing copies of his CASEY-winning book. A big favorite of Spitball and CASEY supporters, Kennedy shared a number of fascinating insights into the process he went through in researching and writing the book; including the revelation that, while Rose did not officially participate in the project, shortly after the book was released to critical acclaim he did phone the author and request a signed copy!
    The Editors of Spitball thank all the loyal baseball literature enthusiasts who turned out to support the Magazine and the CASEY Award program; we once again congratulate Kostya Kennedy and Time Home Entertainment Inc. and all the Nominated Finalists for the 2014 CASEY; and we offer our sincere gratitude to our gracious hosts, Scott Schmidt and his crew at Crosley's, as well as the 2014 CASEY Award Judges Bob Cairns, Scott Ferkovich, and Andy Sturgill for their important service. 
                             The Spitball 75
January 11, 2015
Cincinnati, Ohio

The editors of Spitball are proud to present "The Spitball 75," the best 75 baseball poems published in "The Literary Baseball Magazine" over the first 75 issues of the Magazine's existence. The variety and quality on display in these 75 wonderful baseball poems are a testament to the support that Spitball has received from the very best practitioners of the art of writing poetry about the greatest game in the world for more than 30 years. Sincere thanks to all the poets who have been published in Spitball and to everyone who voted to help us editors come to the final, very difficult decisions we did. Most of all, CONGRATULATIONS to the poets of The Spitball 75!



Spitball Issue #76 Now


The Spring issue, #76, was mailed to all subscribers on Thursday, May 7, 2015. If you are a subscriber and do not receive the issue within two weeks, please notify us. The issue has a cover of 2014 World Series hero Madison Bumgarner done once again by the incomparable Scott Hannig. It features another installment of "Brushes with Baseball" about newspaper baseball cartoonist Jerry Dowling by Mark Schraf; the "Spitball Interview" with baseball card creative genius Charles Mandel of Helmar baseball cards; engaging short stories by Bob Carson, Gare Joyce, and Mike Shannon (accompanied by a lovely Richard A. Tomasic illustration); scintillating baseball poetry by Con Chapman, Mark Metzler, Dan Marsh, Doug D'Elia, Joe Chelius, Steve Hermanos, Tim Peeler, Tim Tocher, and Bruce Niedt; news about notable new baseball books of 2015; and more. We gratefully thank all subscribers for their support and invite those of you who love baseball and literature but for some reason are not subscribers to join us.

After many requests, we have finally made a new Spitball tee shirt. The new shirt proudly displays the current Magazine logo
(designed by the great Donnie Pollard) across the chest so that people will instantly know that you are a baseball fan of the highest order, one with intelligence, taste, and an appreciation for literature.

This is a TOP QUALITY (of course) shirt made by Port. It is a 100% pre-shrunk cotton, 6.1 thickness shirt favored by fire and police departments for its durability and comfort. It is royal blue (the official Spitball color) with white imprinting.

We recommend size XL for all adult men, unless a snug fit is desired.
Sizes available are M, L, XL, and, for additional cost, 2XL and larger.
Cost is $12 per shirt plus $3 shipping for M-XL.
Cost for 2XL is $15 per shirt plus $3 shipping.
Order Online via PayPal from the STORE PAGE (Paypal Acct. not required); or
send check or M.O. to: Spitball, 5560 Fox Road, Cincinnati, OH 45239

Spitball Acquires Minor Trips Newsletter

June 5, 2014
Cincinnati, OH
Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine
announced today that it has purchased "Minor Trips," a newsletter devoted to minor league baseball, now in its 24th year of publication. Minor Trips will continue to be published in the same format and under the same title as before, with founder and former publisher Bob Carson remaining involved as an Editor Emeritus, contributor, and advisor. Spitball Editor-in-Chief Mike Shannon will assume the role of Editor and Publisher of Minor Trips, while relying heavily on the expertise and guidance of Carson. "There is no reason to re-invent the RV wheel (the one that takes MT readers to minor league games around the country) ," said Shannon. "Bob has created a wonderful publication that is supported by fiercely loyal and highly knowledgeable baseball fans, and we simply want to continue doing what he has been doing all these past years to give minor league baseball fans such a great forum for connecting with other fans who share their interest and passion. We have some ideas that we hope will make Minor Trips even better eventually, but we want to assure all of Bob's loyal readers that we have tremendous respect for the newsletter as it exists now and plan to introduce any changes very slowly and carefully so that readers, we hope, hardly notice any transition at all. Bob simply has too many things on his plate right now to give Minor Trips the attention it deserves, so we are thrilled to be able to continue in his footsteps." Spitball and Minor Trips will remain separate publications, although Shannon indicated that cost-saving synergies will be sought in all areas of production and fulfillment. Until an internet presence and an on-line payment option is established for Minor Trips, new subscribers should send payment of $15 for the 2014 Minor Trips newsletters to the Spitball office at: 5560 Fox Road, Cincinnati, OH 45239.

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.