Saturday, December 24, 2011

Coming soon to Cooperstown

Exciting news: The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition has been selected for the bookstore at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. When the bookstore opens up in April, the book will appear on the shelves alongside dozens of other great titles.

You can beat the crowd today by buying The Book of Baseball Literacy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks. The eBook is just $2.99 for a limited time, print edition just $14.95.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Print edition now available of The Book of Baseball Literacy

Great news: The print edition of The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition is now available for purchase. At 384 pages, it's a huge book, but it's just $14.95 from

Of course, the Kindle, iBooks, and Nook editions are still available at only $4.99.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Excerpt: The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)

Today is the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Here's what I wrote about SABR in my new ebook, The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition (available for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks):

Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)
Founded in 1971 by Bob Davids, SABR (pronounced “saber”) is baseball’s premier research organization. Each year, they publish numerous research journals and other books containing articles about baseball history—usually a previously unknown research topic or unremembered part of history. They also hold a yearly convention in a major league city with guest speakers, contests, and other big events. Clearly, SABR has significantly advanced the research of the game’s history. Memberships cost just $65 a year, which includes its yearly publications, discounts on baseball books, and more. If you want to join, visit SABR on the Internet at

© 2011 David H. Martinez. Excerpted from The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Excerpts: The Curse of the Bambino and The Bloody Sock

Last weekend, the Red Sox ran their record against the Yankees this year to 10 wins and 2 losses. Who knows what will happen in the next two months, but remember when the Yankees treated the Sox as their perennial whipping boys? It wasn't that long ago. Thanks to the "Bloody Sock" episode that helped end the "Curse of the Bambino," a whole new generation of Red Sox fans are going to grow up without an inferiority complex. Here's what I wrote about "The Curse" and "The Bloody Sock" in my new ebook, The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition (available for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks):

“Curse of the Bambino”
The superstition—first named in New York Times article by George Vecsey following the Game 6 debacle in 1986, then amplified in a 1990 book by Boston reporter Dan Shaughnessy—that purported to explain why the Red Sox didn’t win a World Series after they sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919. The Sox had won the championship a year before that, and they had come within a single game of winning it in 1946, 1967, 1975, and 1986. But each time, Ruth’s curse supposedly struck them down. Of course, Ruth had nothing to do with bad personnel decisions, unlucky plays, institutional racism, and the other actual reasons why Boston went without a championship so long. Among Boston diehards, the “Curse” may have simply become an easy excuse for preventable and accidental errors. When the Sox finally won the World Series in 2004, it took the “Curse” entirely off the table. Which is good for Boston, good for baseball, and good for rational thinking in general (but bad for New York fans).

Bloody Sock
The artifact from one of the most dramatic and important clutch performances in a generation. The sock belonged to Curt Schilling, who had suffered a serious ankle injury early in the 2004 postseason and was not expected to return to action. When the Red Sox fell behind the Yankees three games to zero in the American League Championship Series, it looked like his season would be over. But then the Sox won Games 4 and 5, and they needed Schilling. Problem was, one of the tendons in his right ankle had broken loose from its protective sheath, and with every step, it was snapping painfully across the bone. “I couldn’t push off,” he told reporters. “It affected both my command and velocity.”

Boston’s medical staff tried various methods to make Schilling’s ankle well enough so that he could pitch again in Game 6, including a special ankle brace and a custom-made shoe, but nothing worked. Then, team physician Dr. William Morgan had a brainstorm: he would suture the tendon directly to the skin to keep it from snapping around the bone. It had never been done, so Morgan practiced the procedure on a cadaver first, and the night before Game 6, he performed it on Schilling. The procedure seemed to work, but nobody knew how the sutures would hold up in a real game.

In Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, Schilling pitched brilliantly and the Sox won, but sometime in the first or second inning, a suture broke and caused blood to seep through his white sock. TV cameras homed in on the stain repeatedly, and more than one observer ascribed divine meaning to Schilling’s gutsy performance by likening the bloody image to a stigmata.

The Sox went on to win Games 6 and 7, capping their miraculous come-from-behind victory over the Yankees and reversing the “Curse of the Bambino.” And Schilling’s bloody sock stands as dramatic symbol of Boston’s achievement.

© 2011 David H. Martinez. Excerpted from The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition

Friday, July 29, 2011

All About Waivers

This weekend is the MLB non-waiver trading deadline. But what are "waivers"? Here's an explanation taken from my new book, The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition (available now).

A waiver is a permission granted to a team that wants to assign or release one of its veteran players who has been on a team’s 40-man roster for at least three years. Basically, there are two types of waivers: waivers for the demotion of a player to the minor leagues and waivers for the unconditional release of a player. In both cases, waivers are granted only after all the other teams have the chance to claim the player but none has done so. After receiving unconditional release waivers, a player becomes a free agent.

This is also the system by which players can be claimed in trades during the period from August 1 the end of the season. Team A wants to trade a player to Team B because Team B is in a pennant race with Team C. It’s after July 31 (the trading deadline), so Team A first places the player on waivers, making him available to any team in reverse order of the standings. The way it’s supposed to work is, all the teams except Team B are supposed to “waive” their right to that player. Team B claims the player, usually in exchange for a “player to be named later,” and the deal is done. If another team makes a claim for the player, Team A can decide instead to keep the player. If Team C’s record is worse than Team B’s, Team C can block the deal. Usually waiver claims are kept secret until a deal is consummated, but every now and then, word leaks out that, say, Team A’s star outfielder was on the trading block until Team C put a stop to it.

© 2011 David H. Martinez. Excerpted from The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Now available as ePub for iBooks and more

I've just made The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition available directly from this website as an unprotected ePub file. That means you can buy it and copy it to your iPad, Nook, Kobo, and any other ebook reader that supports the ePub format. I'm also working on getting the book onto the iBookstore and other stores, but in the meantime, you can buy directly from me and get it on your device right now.

Monday, July 18, 2011


The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition is skyrocketing up the Amazon best-seller charts! Well, OK, that's an exaggeration. But after less than a week on the market, it is #25* in the category of Kindle Ebooks / Baseball History.  Thank you, fans!

*Update (7/18/11): It's down below #50 now, but it was fun while it lasted.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition is now available.

It's official: The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition is now on sale online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The iBookstore is on the way, and I'm also working out a print version. Enjoy your copy, and please let me know how you like it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The cover is ready.

My designer, Walt, has completed the cover design for The Book of Baseball Literacy: 3rd Edition. Check it out.

True Heroes is in the top 5

I love watching Amazon's rankings go up and down. Things could change tomorrow (or even in 30 minutes), but right now, True Heroes of Baseball is in the top 5 on Amazon's list of Kindle Bestsellers in Children's Nonfiction Sports Books, in between biographies of Michael Jordan and the Brazilian soccer player Kaka. Hey, you have to take the little victories when they're handed to you.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The 3rd edition is almost here.

I'm putting the finishing touches on the third edition of The Book of Baseball Literacy. I've kept all the parts of it that critics and readers have praised, made significant updates throughout the book to account for the events of the past 10 years, and added extensive hyperlinking throughout so it'll be easy to follow a thread from page to page. It's now 140,000 words, up from 125,000 in the earlier editions. Yet I've priced it within reach of anyone who has an ebook reader: just $4.99.

Right now, my designer, Walter Jew, is completing work on the awesome book cover. And I'm getting ready to post it to the Amazon and Nook estores. I'll be writing posts about what's in the book in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, check out my other ebooks: Baseball Detective and True Heroes of Baseball.

Baseball Detective is ranked #8 on Amazon.

In the Kindle eBooks/Baseball Statistics category, my ebook Baseball Detective is the #8 bestseller. That puts it behind some of my favorite books—including The New Bill James Historical Abstract, Baseball Between the Numbers, and others—but ahead of It Ain't Over Till It's Over and A Mathematician at the Ballpark, among others.

Buy Baseball Detective for Kindle for just 99¢.