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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Underground Baseball Encyclopedia: Baseball Stuff You Never Needed to Know and Can Certainly Live Without Paperback – April 1, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Schnakenberg is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and the author of numerous books of irreverent nonfiction, including Distory: A Treasury of Historical Insults, The Encyclopedia Shaternica, Old Man Drinks, and Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books; Original edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600783317
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600783319
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Schnakenberg has been called "the Howard Zinn of nerd pop culture." He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Old Man Drinks, Christopher Walken A-to-Z, Secret Lives of Great Authors, and the New York Times bestseller The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray. His work has appeared in Penthouse.

"Schnakenberg is the clown prince of American letters!"
--Jack Canfora, playwright, author of Jericho

www.schnakworld.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a baseball junkie who's not content just knowing the mundane statistical trivia associated with our National Pastime - such as Cobb's .367 lifetime batting average, Henry Aaron's 755 career home runs & Bob Gibson's 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of the '68 World Series - I want to know the weird stuff too; why Wade Boggs just had to eat chicken every day (for good luck), and why the Baby Ruth candy bar is still popular today, while the Reggie Bar never quite made the big time.

For anyone fascinated with every possible aspect of the game; especially the ludicrous and zany antics from all sections of baseball's inner sanctum; this book is for you. I loved it.

I also loved the reverse psychology Robert Schakenberg uses to convince readers they really need to have this book; the title explains that strategy. The truth of the matter is, the baseball junkie may be able to live without this particular piece of irreverent folklore, but life's more interesting knowing all this ridiculous stuff. So get a copy for yourself; you won't regret it.
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The subtitle is indeed accurate, but still, it would be a shame NOT to know much, if not most, of the trivia, minutia, and flotsam in this volume. The randomness of what is included and what is not may be part of the charm, but it did leave me a bit wistful for something more, well, encyclopedic. Trivia does have to BE trivial. But that aside, I certainly enjoyed the read, learned a little, laughed routinely and found myself reaching for other references to follow up on a morsel or ten as I went along. A good time, all in all.
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Format: Paperback
If you're like me, you fondly recall playing RBI Baseball on Nintendo,
remember watching Jose Canseco on The Simpsons, and think the name
Rusty Kuntz is funny. Those are the kinds of things you'll read about
in the Underground Baseball Encyclopedia, a book that takes a
historian's commitment to research and accuracy and unleashes it on
baseball's pop culture connections, minutiae, and inanity. Not only is
this a great trip down memory lane, I also learned a few things I'd
never heard about (did you know the woman behind Mrs. Fields cookies
was an Oakland As ballgirl?). It's also got a lot of unusual and
interesting photos of mascots, board games, baseball cards, and so on.
One of the more enjoyable baseball books I've read in some time, and
one of those books your friends will want to borrow.
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Format: Paperback
I have to wonder about the information in this book if what I read is any indication. In the "Bo Belinsky" section it states that Bo died in 1984 of a heart attack and I know that's not true. I was a sports writer in Kingman, AZ during the early 1990's and I interviewed him during a Pro-Am golf tournament. He was working at a Saturn dealership in Las Vegas and we became friends. He died November 23, 2001. I think there's a big different between the years 1984 and 2001. This author needs to do his research.
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Format: Paperback
I really don't think the title does the encyclopedia justice. Most of the stuff in the book is not really "underground" at all as many baseball fans will know much of what is in here. The focus is mainly on the stuff that makes baseball quirky and fun from the mascots to announcers to scandals.

I didn't quite get why there were so many references to the Texas Rangers throughout as who knew they were that influential? Also, beer and peanut vendor info kind of got a bit carried away. Frankly, hippy dippy beer vendor Captain Earthman is someone that would turn me against attending a game at Coors Field.

I did enjoy other little revealing bits of trivia like the fact that the New York Yankees had a mascot (named Dandy after "Yankee Doodle Dandy") for a very brief time in the late '70s and early '80s. Or that baseball bobblehead dolls were first made in Japan. Or that Chief Noc-A-Homa feuded with Homer the Brave in Atlanta's fight for mascot supremacy.

Yes, much of what I took from this book had to do with mascots and, although that may be a strength, it is also a weakness. After awhile it's seemed like it was mascots-a-go-go. Yet just to have any book acknowledge the San Francisco Giants' misguided Crazy Crab mascot is worth its weight in fool's gold.
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