I’ve reviewed more than my share of baseball books over the past 5-6 years. Until recently, my reviews appeared regularly on BaseballAmerica.com as well as my own site, Bailey’s Baseball Book Reviews. Before I started getting burned out, I read and reviewed 25-30 books a year, which got to be a battle of endurance at times. So my hat is off to Tom Hoffarth, who each April reviews 30 baseball books in 30 days for the Los Angeles Daily News.
I’m grateful Tom found room once again for one of my books, including Nine Bucks a Pound as book No. 23 this year. He doesn’t include many novels, because as he points out “Naturally, you want authenticity as much as entertainment when baseball is portrayed in fiction (like, in “The Natural.”) You appreciate creativity as long as its believable. Otherwise, it kinda drives us nuts.”
Lack of realism is the biggest problem I had in reviewing baseball novels, so I take it as a high compliment that Tom had no such complaints about Nine Bucks a Pound. In fact, he says “Bailey’s first effort, “The Greatest Show on Dirt” in 2012, was worth taking a chance based on our respect for the depth of story lines from the minor-league game that he lived through, and we enjoyed giving the first-time author some swings in the cage. With “Nine Bucks,” Bailey has hit it on the screws again.”
Unlike in 2012, when Hoffarth’s review of The Greatest Show on Dirt ran on April 3, this time I had to wait and wonder. I found out Nine Bucks a Pound would be included only yesterday, after 22 books had already been reviewed. I’m honored it was. Anyone who follows baseball books knows about Hoffarth’s annual undertaking, which has become a staple of spring for readers.