Good news! Baseball in Alabama: Tales of Hardball in the Heart of Dixie hits shelves on May 28. Some great places are helping to celebrate the book's release. Stop by and see me, pick up a book, and let's talk baseball!
May 30: Rickwood Classic
May 30: Good People Brewing Company @ 5:30 p.m.
May 31: Emmet O'Neal Library @ 2:00 p.m.
June 1: Sundog Books @ noon
June 2: Page and Palette @ 2:00 p.m.
After being drafted in the first round by the Chicago White Sox in 1987, Jack McDowell soon found himself in Birmingham and with the Sox's Double A team, the Barons. Some of McDowell's first memories in professional baseball are taking the mound in Birmingham's Rickwood Field. Going on to win the 1993 American League Cy Young Award, McDowell offers a generous review of Baseball in Alabama: Tales of Hardball in the Heart of Dixie:
"Part of my first year in pro ball was in Birmingham, Alabama. I played in Rickwood Field, its last full-time season as home to the Barons. I remember hearing about all the history at that park, all the guys who played there like Willie Mays and Satchel Paige. Reading this book brings all that history back to me . . . and more. Doug Wedge does a great job of telling you about the Alabamians who made their mark in the big leagues and shares good stories about college and minor league ball in Alabama. Check it out. "
Alabama sports. With those two words, maybe the first thing that comes to mind is college football: Bear Bryant's houndstooth hat, Nick Saban hoisting another National Championship trophy, Bo Jackson leaping over a pile of linemen for an Auburn Iron Bowl win. Yet, Alabama has made an incredible mark in the National Pastime. Thirteen players with Alabama roots and connections have been enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Amazing, especially when you consider that some states have no native sons in the Hall. Baseball in Alabama: Tales of Hardball in the Heart of Dixie (The History Press) explores this rich history by presenting profiles of ten Alabamians who achieved big league excellence. These profiles are based on in-depth interviews with the players and include Hall of Famer Billy Williams (Whistler) and former Atlanta Brave Tim Hudson (Salem). The book also contains sections looking back on minor league and college baseball history in the state, including Hall of Famer Alan Trammell's development in the minor leagues as a Montgomery Rebel and Dave Magadan remembering the Crimson Tide rolling in the 1983 College World Series. Former Auburn baseball coach Hal Baird starts the action with a Foreword describing his baseball experiences in the state. Publication date: May 28. Batter up!