Book of the Day: Bases Loaded

Bases Loaded: Aspects of the Baseball Novel by Noel Schraufnagel

(Literary Criticism)

Baseball is deeply engrained into American history. As a result, it also is powerfully associated with American literature – from the 19th century to the present day. Many renowned authors have utilized America’s pastime as a central driving force in plot, story arch, and character development. This book, Bases Loaded, offers an in-depth exploration of the rich history of baseball in literature, acting as an annotated bibliography of novels that dive deep into the world of this beloved game.

The book meticulously categorizes the literature into distinct genres – including mysteries, science fiction and fantasy, ethnic and gender narratives, and fictional accounts of real-life players. It is an invaluable resource for baseball purists and literature buffs. From Richard Rosen’s Harvey Blissberg to Michael Geller’s Slots Resnick, the book reviews a host of mystery novels that have evolved into series. The fantasy realm of baseball literature is illuminated by works from authors like W.P. Kinsella and Michael Chabon, while the intersection of baseball and science fiction is brought to life through novels like Sparky Lyle’s The Year I Owned the Yankees and Richard Lupoff’s Countersolar!   

Bases Loaded also examines the role of race, ethnicity, and gender in baseball literature. With reviews and in-depth explorations, you’ll find that baseball’s journey paralleled America – particularly through the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout the book, you’ll come to understand a fundamental truth – by understanding baseball history, you also come to understand American history.

Written by Noel Schraufnagel, the book is a true treasure for baseball aficionados and fiction enthusiasts alike. It is rich with detail and complexity – making it the perfect guide to the multifaceted intersection of literature and America’s favorite pastime. The author is a retired English professor with a deep-seated passion for sports. Schraufnagel’s academic prowess is demonstrated through his past works, including From Apology to Protest: The Black American Novel and The Baseball Novel: A History and Annotated Bibliography of Adult Fiction.

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