.... Travelin' Light

My friend Travis (no, not Bickle) works at, where you can buy movie, sports, art and virtually any kind of posters and prints imaginable. I have added a link to their site on the left, please visit.


.... Alibris

I have added a new link on the left. It's for Alibris, which is a bookstore that specializes in out of print and hard to find books. I have added a cool image button, which allows you to go straight to their home page. Try it out.


.... Christmas Wish List

If anyone is interested, here are a few things you can rest assured are sure-fire, no-brainer, Holiday gift ideas. First, here are two books I just finished reading.

Babe: The Legend Comes to Life

Written by Robert Creamer, this is the definitive Babe Ruth book no baseball fan should be without. Creamer addresses all of the myths, rumors and long-held beliefs about the man who revolutionized the game we love so much.

Shrub : The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush

Political correspondent Molly Ivins has forgotten more about Texas politics and Dubya than most people will ever know. This is a hilarious and simultaneously worrisome account of George the younger's political life in Texas, with a new preface detailing the many ways in which he has operated to form since taking over the position of "Most Powerful Man in the World."

How about some music? My favorite band in the world is Widespread Panic. The band, based in Georgia, are quite simply the most accomplished and talented group of musicians I've ever seen or heard. These two CD's are my favorites.

'Til the Medicine Takes

Light Fuse, Get Away

And finally, video games. I am a Sony PlayStation2 kinda guy, so what am I playing right now?

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Sure, it's not for kids. But for grownups, come on. This game is so over the top, it has to be hilarious. Don't take things so seriously, it's a game.

And the sports fan in me plays Madden NFL 2003.

Best football game, best sports game, period. Realistic game play, AI, teams, stadiums, 30 year franchise, everything. EA Sports has it right when they say, "If it's in the game, it's in the game."

Remember, if there's something you want to buy that you don't see, just click on the link on the left. Thanks for shopping at Only Baseball Bookstore.


.... New and Improved, Part II

I have received some feedback suggesting the red color scheme isn't translating so well. Hope you like the new look.
.... New and improved

Here are my latest book recommendations:

A Goomba's Guide to Life

Well, let's see, where do I start? First of all, I, am a Goomba. My friends call me Johnny bag o' Donuts. Really. I eat linguine, drink red wine, say fuggehdaboutit about a hundred times a day. This book is written by a Goomba, Steven R. Schirripa, who plays Bobby Bacala on The Sopranos’, and it's hysterical. He writes about growing up as an Italian in NY, and if you know a goomba, want to be a goomba, or just want to have a laugh, Schirripa has the bases covered. I was walking through the bookstore and picked up the book, and I couldn't stop laughing.

From the Back Cover
“Finally, a Goomba guide for everyone that is one, knows one, or wants to be one. Steve Schirripa is a great storyteller with a touching and humorous story to tell.” -- James Gandolfini

“Before reading this book, who was I? Just another punk kid on the street trying to stay out of jail. Now I’m a rock star, an award-winning actor, and a DJ on my own radio show. Thank you, Stevie—I owe it all to you!” -- Stevie Van Zandt

“Put a gold chain on your neck, sit down on a plastic-covered couch, and then read what I think is the funniest book there is about Italians. Now have a cannoli and shut up.” -- Ray Romano

“This book is a heartfelt celebration of Italian-American culture from a guy who really knows his macaroni. Congratulations, Steve. Salute!” -- Michael Imperioli

“Steve Schirripa’s A Goomba’s Guide to Life absolutely killed me, stuffed my body in the trunk of a Monte Carlo, and then dumped me in the river.” -- Bill Maher

About the Author
Steven R. Schirripa, a native of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, is in his third season on The Sopranos. He lives in Las Vegas and New York City’s Little Italy.

1918 : Babe Ruth and the World Champion Boston Red Sox

Written by Allan Wood, this is a terrifically researched and detailed account of the last championship season in Boston, the year before Bambino's Curse, if you will. The star of the story, of course, is Babe Ruth, who at the time, was not only the best player in baseball, he was on the cusp of redefining the game with his slugging. Allan Wood has the following excerpt available on his website, 1918:

It was a fastball, a waste pitch left too far out over the plate. As soon as it left George Tyler’s left hand, Babe Ruth picked up the ball’s rotation, and his eyes lit up.

With a sharp intake of breath, the young Boston Red Sox slugger stepped into the pitch. In his mind, the crowd at Fenway Park — 20,000 fans, staring, howling, imploring — fell away to silence as he cut the air with a ferocious swing. All he heard was hard wood hitting old leather.

It sounded like a rifle shot. The ball went screaming over the second baseman’s head, not rising more than 10 feet off the ground. In right field, Max Flack of the Chicago Cubs took one step in — then suddenly realized his mistake. He turned his back to the infield and started running as fast as he could. He leapt, but the ball sailed over his glove, bounced once and banged up against the bleacher fence.

Fenway Park erupted. Straw hats sailed through the air. Scorecards and bags of peanuts flew skyward. Men slapped each other on the back and cheered their hero with lusty, proprietary roars. On the field, everyone was in motion: Flack chasing the ball to deep right field, Dode Paskert sprinting over from center, Charlie Pick coming out from second base to relay the outfielder’s throw, Charlie Deal straddling third base, watching the action unfold. Boston runners George Whiteman and Stuffy McInnis crossed the plate, both turning to watch Ruth tearing around second, dead set on third.

Babe slid hard into the bag — safe! Deal tossed the ball back to Tyler. The crowd yelled even louder. Ruth stood on the bag, hands on his hips, the ovation echoing in his ears. What a remarkable season it had been for the 23-year-old Boston pitcher. His dreams of playing every day finally had been taken seriously and he had thrived. His name had begun appearing in newspaper headlines around the country and hundreds of people came out to games for no other reason than to see him in uniform. For seven weeks in July and August, he achieved a streak of sustained excellence unmatched in baseball history. It was fitting that Ruth’s first World Series hit was a triple, because deep in his heart, Babe knew that nothing felt better than smacking a three-bagger with men on base.

As Tyler walked slowly back to the center of the diamond with his head down, the triple was replayed in 20,000 minds and its importance began to sink in. The Red Sox now held a 2-0 lead in Game Four of the 1918 World Series. Boston would go on to win the game 3-2, widening its lead over Chicago to three games to one.

Two days later, on September 11, the Red Sox won their third World Series championship in four years, their fourth in seven seasons, and became the first team ever to win five World Series titles. Of course, none of the 15,238 people in Fenway Park that Wednesday afternoon could have known the significance that Game Six victory would eventually hold. If they had, they might not have filed out so quietly afterwards, their overcoats buttoned against the early autumn chill. If any of those fans could have foreseen the future, they might have lingered a little longer, tried to burn a stronger imprint of the game into their minds.

Exactly two months later, the Great War in Europe would come to an end. No one could imagine that after that beleaguered 1918 season — a summer in which the eventual champions battled clubhouse dissensions, threats of a players’ strike, the bumbling ineffectiveness of the game’s ruling body, a possible shut-down of the game by the government, and a tragic, untimely death — Red Sox fans would wait and wait and wait — now 82 years and counting — for another World Series title.

About the Author
Allan Wood began rooting for the Red Sox in 1975 while growing up in Vermont. He currently lives in New York City and is married to a Yankee fan.
.... Quick and Dirty

I'll do a quick review of the two recommended books.

The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract
Bill James

Simply the best book out there if you're looking for a combination of sabermetrics and history. In the first section of the book, Mr. James and his friends take a look at the trends, players, accomplishments and teams throughout baseball history by decade. Sprinkled liberally throughout are essays, debates, arguments and comments.

In the second part of the book, using Win Shares, Runs Created and other analysis tools, James ranks the top 100 players at each position, as well as the top 100 overall. Not every player gets a full essay, but some of them, like Ernie Lombardi, get the full attention of James, it's these essays that show that why James has such a following. More than just numbers-crunching, at which he excels, James is a flat out terrific writer, and this is one book that every fan should find under the Christmas tree.

On a personal note: I read the original Historical Baseball Abstract until it disintegrated. This one is well on its way to the same fate.

Win Shares
Bill James

David Pinto has done a terrific job writing about the complexities found in James new toy. An idiot's guide might say that James takes runs and wins and calculates a players contribution backwards, to arrive at what he thinks is an accurate measure of just how much an individual has contributed to the total wins of his team.

Read it if you want to be on the cutting edge of baseball statistical analysis. Then read it again, because it is that complicated.


.... Open for business

Here is the new location for the Only Baseball Matters Bookstore. Soon, I will be publishing reviews and recommendations for books that you, my readers, will be able to purchase directly through my site. By doing so, you will be increasing your knowledge of baseball, while increasing the profitability of this little exercise called Only Baseball Matters.