Tag Archives: sports

365Z: Gillette 1955 World Series Book

Not exactly a children’s book, nevertheless it is one of the earliest books I remember reading, and it was certainly the first mail-order book I ever bought.
I heard this book being offered on the radio on a Gillette commercial, probably on a sports broadcast of some sort, sometime after the 1955 World Series had been played and probably before the 1956 baseball season was well underway. So sometime between late fall 1955 and early summer 1956. I would have been 7 years old at the time. I convinced my dad to write a check for $1 and send off to Gillette for the book. Received it shortly thereafter and spent a lot of time reading it in my misspent youth.
I can’t remember the exact title. Years ago I would have guessed it to be something like “The Gillette 1955 World Series Record Book”, but that is incorrect. There was a series of miniature books (3″ x 4″) published under the names “The Gillette 195x World Series Record Book” for 1953 and 1954. It was not in that series.
This book was almost certainly published by A. S. Barnes and Company. It was bright green hardcover (I don’t think it ever had a dust jacket) that was physically about the same format as their hardcover books “The 1955 Baseball Almanac” (Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 55 7189, dark green hardcover with dust jacket) and “The 1956 Baseball Almanac” (Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 43-5554, dark blue-green hardcover with dust jacket). In fact, 70-80% of the content was extracted from those two volumes, whence my inference that it must have been published by A. S. Barnes. The sections of the Baseball Almanacs that were repeated or similar in that book included ball club data (including all the ball park diagrams), how to keep score, and the rules of baseball.
In thickness, the 1955 World Series book I am looking for was about the same as or a little thinner that the 1956 Baseball Almanac and not as thick as the 1955 Baseball Almanac.
One major difference between the 1955 and 1956 Baseball Almanacs is that the 1955 version includes a section of photos in the middle of the book (including Willie Mays’ spectacular catch in the 1954 World Series). The 1955 World Series book I am looking for also had a photo section of highlights from the 1955 World Series. Specific photos that I recall were Jackie Robinson’s stealing of home in Game 1, Irv Noren’s shoestring catch in Game 5, and portraits of Casey Stengel and Walt Alston.
I’m also imagining that the 1955 World Series book I am looking for contains more descriptive material on the pennant race and the World Series and less material on club rosters for the upcoming season than the Almanacs.

363G: College Romance Where Girl Has Gift to Know Soulmate

This is a college or sports romance. Main character named Brooklyn? Transfers to New college with bff. Meets love interest after football game. Instantly falls in love because family has a gift to know their soulmate when they find them. Not caveman series. I read it in 2014 on Kindle. She’s poor and he spoils her. I remember he got hers uggs in the book.

357S: NOT “Iron Duke”

Around 1952–54, I read just about every John R. Tunis baseball book I could find. Then, having exhausted Mr. Tunis’s baseball output, I checked a football book out of the library. All these years, I have thought Tunis wrote it, and that its title was Iron Duke. Now I suspect both memories are wrong because …

A) I see no such book by Tunis.
B) Iron Duke appears to be about track.
So here is what I think I do remember correctly about the book I’d like to find:
Unlike all the baseball books I had read, the one I am seeking was written in first person. The narrator is some sort of recruiter of football talent for a college. He hears about a big, strong player in a backwoods part of the country, such as rural Pennsylvania, and goes to scout him. With questions about whether the player can fit into a collegiate environment, the narrator of the story takes a chance on the kid. (Maybe he doesn’t even have proper shoes.)
Do you see where this is going? The rube blossoms as a player and person and turns out to have a brilliant football mind, often figuring out, for example, based on the way the offensive players line up, what sort of play they are going to run.
I had settled on the football book out of desperation, and wound up loving it. But now I don’t know who wrote the book or if the title was in any way similar to Iron Duke.
Given that my clues are skimpy––and that what I had always thought I’d remembered clearly seems to be incorrect––you have your work cut out for you.

236G: A collection of sports biographies

Trying to find book I was given as a kid around 1960-1963(?) with short bio’s and drawings of athletes; I remember bio’s included Babe Zaharias, George Mikan, Jesse Owens, and Mo Connelly. It was a book for kids along the type of format as “Two Flags Flying” or “Illustrated Minute Biographies” with a bio and drawing of the person in each case.