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
March 12, 2017
Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery
Michael Leahy Wows Sold-out Crowd at 34th Annual CASEY Awards Banquet!
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
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
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