Guide to Baseball Fiction
"The baseball game had been going on for an hour with the score still zero to zero and the players, dusty and tired, were playing silently, without hope."
— Betsy Byars, The Summer of the Swans
This Guide to Baseball Fiction is a combination of bibliographic checklist and evaluative critical guide to over 1,234 works of baseball fiction. The opinions expressed are mine alone; but I have tried to acknowledge the critical consensus where I differ from it. This Guide is very far from comprehensive, but does contain the most-discussed works; I add new titles gradually.
Bibliographical information for each item is for the first publication. For short stories, I have tried to find original publications but have often noted reprintings in collections or anthologies, where the stories might be easier to find.
The definitive print bibliography of baseball novels, adult and juvenile both, is Andy McCue's Baseball by the Books (Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown, 1991).
The Guide differs from print bibliographies in several respects. It is as up-to-date as I can make it. It unites short stories, novels, juvenile fiction, drama, and film in unique ways, and takes advantage of the Web to link entries to one another and to additional outside information. The Guide should not be considered the last word: if you are seeking information on baseball literature, be sure to consult Baseball by the Books and other print and Internet sources.
Most works are given no stars in the ratings that follow each entry. That doesn't mean that they're bad, just ordinary. I'm in the process of replacing an earlier 1-2-3 star rating system with just a single star for items especially worth reading. The fine distinctions among 1, 2, and 3 stars seemed to me too fine.
I couldn't do this without the help of the InterLibrary Loan department at the University of Texas at Arlington Library. I also want to thank the staffs of the Arlington Public Library, the Great Neck Library, the Memorial Library of Radnor Township, the Perry-Castaņeda Library at the University of Texas at Austin, and the New York Public Library, including the Donnell Library Center's Central Children's Room, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Special thanks to the staff of the Charles C. Sherrod Library at East Tennessee State University, home of the Lyle Olsen Sport Literature Collection. Warm thanks to everyone at the Sport Literature Association for their support of this project.
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