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Surviving the “Dog Days” of Winter

January may be the cruelest time of the year to baseball fans. The Hot Stove, churning up the high heat in December, is just lukewarm at this point, with most teams looking at the leftover free agents and supplemental parts. The Yankees of course made their biggest Free Agent splash in years with the signing of Gerrit Cole. Boy, I’m eager to see him in Pinstripes, mowing down the competition, leading the Yankees to a Championship.

But it’s January and I must wait.

So, I catch up on my reading. Here’s what’s on my reading list this winter:

Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964 by Peter Golenbock. Perhaps my favorite baseball book of all time – I have read it numerous times, and always pull it out in the offseason. A year by year account of perhaps the greatest era in Yankee history. Over the sixteen year period, the Yanks won fourteen AL pennants and nine World Series, averaging 97 wins a season. Not only do you get in depth profiles of the famous guys we’ve all heard of, Mantle, Berra, and Ford, but you also get introduced to guys like Allie Reynolds, Hank Bauer and Gil McDougald who contributed mightily to those great teams.

Baseball Digest Archives. If you grew up in the 1980s like me (or before), Baseball Digest was huge. Every month a magazine delivered to your home jam packed with baseball content and advertising. I would read them over and over. I subscribed for a number of years and always regretted that my collection was disposed of during one of my many moves during my college and young adult years. No worries now as I’ve subscribed to the Baseball Digest Archives, a digital collection of over 800 issues, dating back to the 1940s. They fit just fine in my Kindle Fire.

Strat-O-Matic Fanatics: The Unlikely Success Story of a Game That Became an American Passion by Glenn Guzzo. All of the Strat-O-Matic content in the blog has really stoked my interest in the classic game I started playing in the 1980s, and this book goes back to its roots and formation. The firsthand accounts by Hal Richman are really interesting to read, as are the challenges he’s had to overcome to get the company to where it is now.

The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter by Ian O’Connor. The passage of time and Jeter’s struggles to build a winner Miami can make a fan somewhat forget how special his Yankee career was. There are some pretty good deals on Amazon for this book, a good read just in time for his Hall of Fame selection.

Scattering the Ashes by Paul Semendinger. Yep, a plug for the recently released novel by our own editor in chief! I’ve read it once and am now reading it a second time. It’s an enjoyable read that draws you in.

What are you reading this winter? Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments below.


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