Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bookwork progressing

More recent evidence that there will actually be a published book about Red Faber:

The publisher contacted me Wednesday with four questions about the manuscript. Only four?! That surprised me.

And, the book is now posted as available for ordering on the McFarland web site.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Faber's son donates to museum

On Saturday, I paid a call on Red's son, Urban II, at his home in the Chicago suburbs. My wife came along, and did a great job navigating, counting out change for the toll plazas and keeping me awake.

The occasion was to accept, on behalf of the Tri-County Historical Society, memorabilia to be displayed in the Red Faber wing of the historical society's museum in Red's native Cascade, Iowa.

We are still hoping that Urban will come to Cascade next month for a presentation at the annual semi-pro all-star game. However, due to his upcoming change of residences and health issues, that is uncertain.

I will leave it to museum officials to decide the time and method of revealing what the items are, but I will say that they were worth the trip.

Historical society officials are thrilled with the donation. The museum is short of actual Faber memorabilia, so this will be a huge help.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Getting closer

Today's mail included a package from McFarland Publishers of Jefferson, N.C.: Promotional materials for my Faber biography.

I learned a few things about my book. The list price is $29.95. It will be 256 pages, in paperback. And its ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is 0-7864-2721-3. (No, I do not plan to memorize that.)

All in all, it is further evidence that there really, truly will be a book published later this year.

Soon, I'm told, I will receive page galleys to proofread and to use for compiling the index.

McFarland also sent me order forms for the book. I guess I'll soon see who my friends are!

"Brief" Faber bio posted; Hoerner profile coming

The Society of American Baseball Research has posted my condensed Faber biography as part of its online-only "BioProject."

This article is less than 3,000 words -- compared to the more than 100,000 words I submitted for the full biography McFarland will publish this fall.

The BioProject is an ambitious endeavor by SABR to produce at least a brief biography of every man to have ever appeared in a major league game. To date, 343 biographies have been posted. There is a long way to go.

To that end, I am writing a BioProject article on another Dubuque County native who achieved major league success: Joe Hoerner. A left-handed relief specialist, Hoerner's best years were 1966 until 1970, when he made the National League All-Star team. Overall, his major league career covered the years 1963-64, when he saw limited action with Houston, and 1966-77.

AL Deadball Stars book due soon

Release of the Society of American Baseball Research book, "Deadball Stars of the American League," is imminent. I haven't heard a definite publication date, but the book is available for advance order.

Red Faber is among the stars profiled in this book, and I was honored to be asked to write his chapter.

The "Deadball Era," 1901-19, got its name from the composition of the baseball, which had a softer core than the ball put into play starting in 1920 (hence the start of the "Lively Ball Era"). Over-the-wall home runs were a rarity, and teams followed a "small ball" strategy -- singles, stolen bases, hit-and-run, etc.

Faber is among the stars who enjoyed success in both the Deadball and Lively Ball eras. His best three-season stretch, based on won-lost figures, coincided with the start of the Lively Ball Era (1920-22). However, it was during the Deadball period that he won three World Series games (1917), posted a 24-win season (1915) and won 82 games (1914-19).

This American League book is a companion to the National League volume that SABR released three years ago. When it is (finally) released, I'll update the blog.