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 22, 2016
Charles Leerhsen Wins 2015 CASEY Award for:
Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty
Spitball is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2015 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year is Charles Leerhsen and Simon & Schuster for Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. Leerhsen won baseball literature's top prize in one of the closest and most hotly contested CASEY races in history by scoring a first place vote, a second place vote, and a fourth place vote for a total score of seven points (lowest score wins). Judge Dennis Snelling had this to say about the book: "Charles Leerhsen's incredible research and outstanding writing allows us to get beyond the tired and false caricature that Ty Cobb has become. An outstanding biography that dispels myths, turns history on its head, and allows for a greater appreciation of this all-time great player." Judge Brian Baughan added: "With this biography, Leerhsen deftly sets the facts straight about Ty Cobb, without sacrificing hard truths. But there's much more here. In investigating the stubborn myths about Cobb the icon, the book raises essential questions about the heroes and villains of baseball and the stories we choose to tell about them." Spitball Magazine Editor Mike Shannon said that Leerhsen's win is all the more impressive given the stiff competition the book faced. "2015 was an exceptionally good year for baseball books, and the field of CASEY Award Finalists was packed with formidable contenders. The fact that Ty Cobb is not exactly a new subject is a testament to the extremely high quality of Mr. Leerhsen's efforts; and the Judges, who faced a very daunting task, are to be commended for recognizing the achievement of Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty.
The 33rd annual CASEY Awards Banquet is scheduled for Sunday, March 13, at 2:00 pm and will be held at Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery (513-242-3311) at 4901 Vine Street in St. Bernard, Ohio (a suburb of Cincinnati, OH). The Banquet is open to the public, and tickets may be purchased at the door for $10. Spitball congratulates Charles Leerhsen, who will receive his specially made and engraved blue & gold Louisville Slugger CASEY Award baseball bat at the Banquet, and his publisher, Simon & Schuster; as well as the other authors and publishers who received Finalist Nominations. The Magazine also thanks the Judges of the 2015 CASEY (Brian Baughan, Dan Neville, and Dennis Snelling) for a job well done.
November 24, 2015
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:
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 theselection 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 Acquires Minor Trips Newsletter
June 5, 2014
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.
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