By Vicki Ann Duraine, Supervisory Librarian, Adult Services

I am a baseball fanatic. Game 7 of the World Series (if I am lucky and the Series goes seven) is the saddest game of the year. Winter is just filler until February when pitchers and catchers report. No live baseball, no problem; for the last four months I have streamed the 2019 Diamondbacks’ games – limiting myself to contests when the good guys won against teams with winning records. I have my standards. Currently, I am reliving Zack Greinke’s wins when he was still the D-backs’ ace. Last night, he finessed the Phillies; I still miss him.

But Zack fell in with those outlaw Astros, and MadBum is the new gun in town and baseball’s back, mostly. That is if you stay home, prepare your own hot dogs and nachos, and have a friend in a dirty apron toss a bag of peanuts across a row of empty easy chairs. You just gotta adjust. So sit back, focus on the field instead of the empty stands, and enjoy the play and roar of the crowd – albeit canned. Sixty games is better than none, and spring training is only six months away.

The season starts with two games on Thursday, July 23. While you wait, break out the sunflower seeds and enjoy these baseball primers.

  • World Series Champions 2019 [electronic resource].
    Speaking of Zack, in spite of the Astros’ sign stealing indictment, the 2019 Series may rank with the Braves/Twins and Diamondbacks/Yankees classics. Game 7 saw a memorable pitching duel between Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke. Patrick Corbin and Daniel Hudson closed for Washington and brought home the trophy. If you really want to have fun, count the former Diamondbacks on the Nationals and Astros rosters.
  • Eight Men Out : The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series  by Eliot Asinof. This nonfiction title shares the story of the 1919 Chicago White Sox, accused of throwing the World Series. Orion Pictures released a worthy film adaptation with the same title. The notorious “Black Sox” also inspired the novel Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, which was adapted into the movie Field of Dreams (PG).
  • Watch Kevin Costner at his best in the baseball classic Bull Durham, where the boy gets the girl and his 247th dinger.
  • In League of Their Own, based on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Tom Hanks as crusty, colorful Jimmy Dugan provides, among many memorable lines, “There’s no crying in baseball.” A claim I would dispute if the players’ union and owners hadn’t reached a settlement this year!
  • They Bled Blue : the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers : Fernandomania, Strike-Season Mayhem, and the Weirdest Championship Baseball had ever Seen. What is a list without mention of the dastardly Dodgers.  D-back fans, remember to chant “Beat LA” from the comfort of your living room.
  • Though the classic novel by Bernard Malamud far outshines the film, The Natural is a fine baseball flick starring Robert Redford.
  • Written by Paul Goldberger, an American Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic, Ballpark: Baseball in the American city is an illustrated account of historic and modern stadiums. The next best thing to being there!

Play ball.