Wednesday, October 12, 2011

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Little League

Book titles are important. Ones that sell books are worth their weight in gold, but it's important to make sure they accurately portray the content of your book.

Maybe we should have titled Sporting Chance Press's The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy's Principles for Success in Baseball (and Life) something like All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Little League. But in deference to Robert Fulghum monster best seller All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten we did not. I suppose we could have gone to an older blockbuster theme and come up with Everything You Wanted to Know about Baseball (and Life) Principles (But We're Afraid to Ask), but somehow that would not have seemed right playing off Everything You Wanted to Know about Sex (But We're Afraid to Ask). Although David Reuben's guide to sex was educational, we might have turned a lot of people off with that one.

Another approach might have been How to Keep Your Baseball Principles Alive, A Guide for the Compleat Idiot, but that's a little distant. The classic How to Keep Your Volkswagon Alive, A Guide for the Compleat Idiot was a groundbreaking book by John Muir, but there are just too many "Idiot" and "Dummies" books around today to keep them straight.

Well, we stuck with The 10 Commandments of Baseball, the ancient theme that McCarthy himself used when he penned his commandments in 1921. We were faithful to the original metaphor. But although our book is not a blockbuster yet, this timeless gem is destined to build into a bestseller none-the-less. It is what has been called a "perfect storm of baseball books" and a superb airplane book (perfectly absorbing and entertaining for frequent flyers).

The book examines the background of baseball's commandments and illustrates these simple principles with brief snippets of baseball stories and characters. It's as fun for the baseball aficionado with an extensive library as it is for the casual fan.

The author, J. D. Thorne, is simply one of millions of Americans who fell in love with baseball at an early age and couldn't get enough regardless of his more practical career choice. The author is a "keep your day job" kind of guy, but an "I can't stop playing and watching baseball every leisure minute I have" kind of guy. Thorne manages to both entertain and inform readers with a pinch of humor, a couple cups of major league lore and a generous sprinkling of nostalgia. The reader ends up with a fun read that will take a position of honor on any bookshelf--perhaps right next to All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

Copies of The 10 Commandments of Baseball are available from Sporting Chance Press.

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