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

Give Spitball Magazine for Christmas
November 27. 2014
Cincinnati, Ohio

Christmas Gift Subscriptions to Spitball are now available at HALF PRICE to all current subscribers, renewing subscribers, and new subscribers ... for a limited time.
As long as you yourself are a subscriber (or you become one at any regular price rate ... $12/$20/$125), you may order up to three (3) Christmas Gift Subscriptions at 1/2 price ($6 for the two issues of 2015). We will notify the lucky recipients of your thoughtfulness, preferably via email. In addition, if desired, we will send the current issue to you (to personally hand to the recipient) or directly to the recipient for an additional $2 (the cost of mailing an issue first class) per Gift Subscription, so that the recipient knows what a cool gift he is receiving. In order to fulfill orders of this type by Christmas, we must receive payment and instructions by December 20.
As the ordering page on this website is not set up to handle this special offer, you will have to send us your payment for the Gift Subs and the mailing addresses of your family members/friends in the mail. You can pay for your own subscription (or re-subscription or extension) via the website or include that payment in the mail also.
In any case, this is a great way for you to remember your baseball buddies and relatives during the upcoming Christmas season and to help Spitball fulfill its mission of publishing the best in baseball poetry, fiction, book reviews, and art at the same time.
The editors of Spitball wish all our readers, contributors, and supporters a most happy and blessed Christmas!
Please send info and payment (checks made out to Spitball Magazine) to:
Spitball Magazine
5560 Fox Road
Cincinnati, OH 45239
For any questions, please email Mike Shannon at: spitball5@hotmail.com

Finalists for 2014 CASEY Award Announced
November 3, 2014
Cincinnati, Ohio
The editors of Spitball announced today the Finalists for the 2014 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year. The complete list can be found on the "CASEY Award" page of this website. Twelve books made the final cut and now have a chance to win baseball literature's most coveted prize, the blue & gold Louisville Slugger bat which symbolizes the CASEY. About the unusual number of books on the list Editor-in-Chief Mike Shannon had this to say, "We try to keep the list of Finalists at 10 because our Judges actually read all the books Nominated ... unlike what happens with the Oscars where some of their "experts" vote for movies they've never even viewed. This year the number of outstanding baseball books published made that impossible, and we are feeling a little melancholy about having to leave some of those deserving books off the short list. On the other hand, the list that exists is extremely strong, and we anticipate a real dog fight among them. We don't envy the Judges but trust that they will come to a decision that identifies the one book that deserves a little more than the others the title of Best Baseball Book of the Year. We congratulate all the Finalist Nominees and their publishers and look forward to the verdict of our distinguished panel of Judges."

2014 CASEY Judges Panel Announced
Spitball Magazine is pleased to announce that the Judges panel for the 2014 CASEY Award will consist of Bob Cairns, Scott Ferkovich, and Andy Sturgill.
Bob Cairns (Denton, NC) has published hundreds of magazine articles and is the author of several books, including two about baseball: Pen Men and The Comeback Kids.
A graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, Scott Ferkovich (Canton, MI) writes for several baseball websites and is a contributing editor to the annual Emerald Guide to Baseball.
Andy Sturgill (West Chester, PA) is a financial aid officer at Ursinus College and a member of SABR and has contributed to several baseball books.



Spitball Issue #75 Mailed to All Subscribers on Monday October 27, 2014

The Fall 2014 issue, #75, was mailed to all subscribers on Monday October 27, 2014. It has a cover of recently inducted Hall of Famer Frank Thomas; done once again by the incomparable Scott Hannig. The issue features another installment of Chapbook Corner on Barton Friedman's "You Can't Tell the Players"; Mark Schraf's wonderful Cooperstown Report; one great short story about former ML pitcher Bobo Newsome by Bruce Baskin and another wild tale by Jon Leavitt (accompanied by a fantastic Richard A. Tomasic illustration); great baseball poetry by Con Chapman, Joe Stanton, Mark Metzler, Ron McFarland, and Bruce Niedt; news about notable new baseball books of 2014; another Card Blanche column; and more. If you are a subscriber and do not receive this issue within ten days of its mailing, please contact the Spitball office via email @ spitball5@hotmail.com. We gratefully thank all subscribers 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

75th Issue Celebration Being Planned;
Call for Votes on Best Baseball Poems

June 10, 2014
Cincinnati, OH
    The Editors of Spitball have announced that they are planning a celebration of the Magazine's 75th issue in the fall of 2014 to be centered around the selection of the 75 Best Baseball Poems Ever Published in Spitball. The highlight of the event will be a marathon public reading of all 75 of the poems selected as the Best. The date and site of the event is undetermined, but the Editors are focusing on a weekend afternoon or evening in October, during the Major League Baseball playoff-World Series season.
    The Public is hereby invited to help select the winning poems.
    1) All poems published in the first 74 issues of Spitball Magazine are eligible for the honor.
    2) You may vote for up to 10 poems but not for any poem which you have authored. You may vote for multiple poems written by the same author.
    3) You may send in your vote via email to spitball5@hotmail.com or to the Spitball mailing address: 5560 Fox Road, Cincinnati, OH 45239.

    As an aid to participation and voting, Spitball is making a special BACK ISSUE offer. A complete Back Issue set as it exists in our stockpile of previous issues (about 17 different issues) can be ordered until October 1, 2014, for only $30, postage paid. The cost of the Back Issue set is normally $50. The Back Issue set can be ordered on-line from this website or by sending a check or M. O. to the Spitball office.
    Thanks for helping us select the 75 Best Baseball Poems Ever Published in Spitball Magazine! Please keep checking this website for further news about the date, time, and site of the 75th ISSUE CELEBRATION.

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.

31st Annual CASEY Awards Banquet a Smash Hit!

(Loyal Spitball supporters with 2013 CASEY winner Herschel Cobb and his Louisville Slugger CASEY: from L to R: Kevin Hess, Doug King, Billy Roebel, Annie Hess, Mike Roebel, and Herschel Cobb)

    A packed house of Spitball Magazine and baseball literature supporters were on hand at Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sunday March 9, 2014, to welcome 2013 CASEY winner, Herschel Cobb and his son, Ty Cobb, from their home in Menlo Park, California. After the usual preliminaries ... door prize give-aways, the shout-it-out trivia contest, a stellar performance by BALLZAK, the Magnificent, and the introduction of all 10 books Nominated for the 2013 CASEY Award, the crowd was treated to an informative and heart-felt acceptance speech by Mr. Cobb, the grandson of the incomparable Tyrus Raymond Cobb. Also on hand to accept Nomination Awards and to address the audience were Roberts Ehrgott (author of Mr. Wrigley's Ball Club: Chicago and the Cubs during the Jazz Age) and Mike Lackey (author of Spitballing: The Baseball Days of Long Bob Ewing). After the conclusion of the ceremonies, Mr. Cobb graciously posed for photos and signed copies of his winning book for more than an hour. Spitball Magazine thanks all those who sponsored and worked the event ... especially the Louisville Slugger Bat Company, Bill Goff Goodsportsart, and Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery ... and the attendees whose presence demonstrated once again why Cincinnati is known as the Literary Baseball Capitol of the World.

Herschel Cobb Wins 2013 CASEY Award
Heart of a Tiger
Spitball Magazine is pleased to announce that Herschel Cobb and ECW Press of Toronto, Canada, have won the 2013 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year for Heart of a Tiger: Growing Up with My Grandfather, Ty Cobb. The searing, sometimes horrifying, story about how Ty Cobb rescued his grandson from Herschel's abusive father becomes in the hands of the author an inspiring and beautifully-told memoir. The book received first, second, and third place votes to win the 31st CASEY Award by two points over the closest rival. Judge C. Paul Rogers III said, "No one who reads Heart of a Tiger will ever view Ty Cobb quite the same again. In a beautifully conceived and written memoir, fashioned without apology and set in the backdrop of a dysfunctional family for which Ty Cobb was undoubtedly to blame, his grandson shows the loving, caring, and giving side of a Cobb who is trying to make amends for his earlier failings as a parent. It is a compelling book which is hard to set aside and which stuck with me long after I closed the covers." Congratulations to Mr. Cobb and to ECW Press and to all the Nominated Finalists of 2013. And thanks to the Judges who did such a splendid job: Gary Cieradkowski, Jay Goldberg, and C. Paul Rogers III.
Please join us in Cincinnati on March 9 to honor Heart of a Tiger and the other Finalists of 2013 at the 31st Annual CASEY Awards Banquet. (see below for more information on the Banquet.)

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.