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

June 23rd, 2017

Spring 2017 Issue Mailed June 20, 2017

The Spring issue of Spitball has been mailed to all subscribers. If you are a subscriber and have not yet received the issue, please notify us immediately. The issue features a spectacular full color painting of Angels great Mike Trout on the cover, plus engaging short stories by long-time contributor Larry Fangman and new-comer Tom Funk; wonderful poems by Joel Glickman, Will Begley, Tim Peeler, Kevin Miller, and others; a funny and very interesting Interview with Charlie Vascellaro; a superb portrait of baseball artist Joe Gazzo in Brushes with Baseball; a memoir of the deceased W.P. Kinsella; brief reviews of a satchel of new baseball books; and more. The issue is now completely SOLD OUT. If you don't want to miss forthcoming issues of the most unique baseball publication around, subscribe today!

March 12, 2017
Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery
Cincinnati, Ohio
Michael Leahy Wows Sold-out Crowd at 34th Annual CASEY Awards Banquet!
34th Casey
Michael Leahy, author of The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers (published by HarperCollins), accepted the 34th CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year here today in front of an enthusiastic and sold-out crowd of passionate and literate baseball fans. Leahy, who copped the 2016 CASEY with an impressive score of two first-place votes and one third-place vote, spoke for thirty minutes about the genesis of his book and the seven players who formed the nucleus of the work, especially Sandy Koufax, Maury Wills, and Wes Parker. Mr. Leahy mesmerized the crowd with poignant tales about the adversities the players faced and the feeling he had that their willingness to open up to him during interviews was a direct result of a sense of their own mortality. The Last Innocents makes a convincing argument for a reassessment of Wills' merit for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Leahy also urged the audience to use their influence as serious students of the game to support Wills' cause. After his riveting acceptance speech, Mr. Leahy fielded questions for another half hour and then patiently signed numerous copies of his book for those in attendance. Once again, CASEY Banquet attendees proved that the best baseball fans anywhere are to be found in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Editors of Spitball congratulate Michael Leahy and all the other nominated authors for the 2016 CASEY Award and thank the CASEY Banquet's gracious host, Scott Schmidt of Crosley's, as well as all those whose attendance helped make the event an unforgettable afternoon.

January 22, 2017

Michael Leahy is the winner of the 2016 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year for The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers (published by HarperCollins Publishers). In garnering two first-place votes and a third-place vote (for a five point total), Leahy handily outdistanced the formidable competition. Spitball Editor Mike Shannon said, "Mr. Leahy gives us such a transformative view of a famous team and the struggles its key players endured that it's like encountering them for the first time. Even San Francisco Giants fans will experience new appreciation for these admirable Dodgers. The Judges clearly recognized the achievement represented by the book." As Judge Zach Sanzone said, "The Last Innocents succeeds in mixing history with an examination of important social attitudes that are as relevant today as they were in the 1960s. All the Finalists' books demonstrated excellent insight into the world of baseball, but the level of scholarship,  writing, and depth found in Michael Leahy's book made it stand out above the others." The Arm by Jeff Passan finished second (nine points), while The Selling of the Babe by Glenn Stout finished third (11 points).
    The 34th annual CASEY Awards Banquet will take place on Sunday afternoon (2:00 pm) March 12, 2017, at Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery (4901 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45217) in the St. Bernard Square shopping center. Attendance is open to the public, and tickets will be available at the door for $10 per person. Admittance includes a one-year subscription to Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine. The Editors of Spitball congratulate all ten Nominated Finalist authors and publishers of 2016, and thank the 2016 CASEY Award Judges (Avery Comarow, Zach Sanzone, and Jeff Singleton) for a job well done!

February 17, 2017
Fall 2016 Issue Mailed 2/16/17

The Fall 2016 issue has finally been mailed to all subscribers. It features 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 are a subscriber and do not receive this issue within the next 10 days, please  contact Spitball for a replacement.

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 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.

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.

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.