Category Archives: Books

Related books and book reviews.

Help Me Help MJ’s Bookmark Celebrate

MJ’s Bookmark at 414 S. Main St. in Auburn is celebrating 25 years of nurturing the literary minds of our area. I’m honored to help them celebrate this week . . . kicking it off on Sunday at 1PM. But it’s not about me, other locals will be on hand throughout the week of July 25 to speak about their work and sign books.

Those planning to attend include Bushnell, Peg Barnes, Chad Gramling, Louise Hamm, Jane Kempf, Stan Kowalski, Bill Lock, Vicki Meier, Rachel Roberts, Sally Garrett, Barb Morrow, John Martin Smith, Sharon Zonker, Hubert Stackhouse and Judy Pollack. Annelise Cole will read her own poetry on July 28 from 6-7 p.m. John and Judy Waanders also will be at the store July 28 from noon to 7 p.m.

Just When You Thought National Public Radio Was Safe…

Tomorrow, be sure to tune to WBOI 89.1 fm tomorrow at 12PM for a taste of Baseball in Fort Wayne during Midday Matters: Artcentric. Though I will not be there live, you will hear my prerecorded segment where I discuss the rich baseball heritage of Northeast Indiana, the book and more. If you’re not able to catch the segment during the live broadcast, the podcast is archived at WBOI’s website in their “Jukebox” section.

This is sort of a return to my roots. I interned at NIPR back in 1998 or 1999 when I was in my last year of college. Was kind of fun to walk back into the station and consider that it has been a decade since that time.

Special thanks to Julia Meek and Phil Shaull for hosting me and helping to spotlight the local lore of our National Pastime.

Signed Baseball in Fort Wayne – $9.99

Baseball in Northeast Indiana has a rich history that dates back the late 1800’s and has featured some of the biggest personalities and teams in baseball history.

For example, the first organized professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne, Indiana literally steps from where Parkview Field now stands. Since that time, the area has hosted the likes of Babe Ruth, Chuck Klein, Jimmy Burke, Max Carey, Jake Peavy, Torii Hunter, LaTroy Hawkins and more.

It’s also served as the nurturing hometown of the likes of Ford Frick, Chick Stahl, Rollie Zeider, Eric Wedge, Rob Bowen and current upstart minor leaguers like Kyle Day, Jarrod Parker, Justin Parker, Taylor Kinzer and more.

And now . . . here’s your opportunity to learn more about this rich heritage of America’s national pastime in the heartland.

Complete with nearly two-hundred photographs and narrative, Baseball in Fort Wayne takes a broad stroke look at the game from the late 1800’s through the 2006 Fort Wayne Wizards season.

Makes a great addition to your own baseball library or a gift for the baseball fan who seems to have everything else.

Buy Signed Copy of Baseball in Fort Wayne – New Low Price $10.99

As Christmas approaches, I know you are thinking of what to get that hard-to-buy-for baseball fan or local history buff. Well, not only do I have a great suggestion, I have an amazing deal for you!

For a limited time, I am making a small supply of my book, Baseball in Fort Wayne, available for purchase for just $10.99 plus shipping (unless we arrange other methods). That’s not a classic Chad Gramling typ-o. Indeed, you can buy a signed copy for nearly half the cover price!

So what are you waiting for?

Dunno to Bring Perfect Game to Indiana, Four Other States

Soon, baseball and softball players in and around northeast Indiana will have the opportunity to take part in the world’s largest baseball/softball scouting service. Last summer, Rich Dunno, the owner of the Strike Zone baseball/softball training facility and Les Edgerton traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to meet with the president and founder of Perfect Game USA, Jerry Ford.

Edgerton was finalizing interviews for his book on the history of the organization, Perfect Game USA and the Future of Baseball: How the Remaking of Youth Scouting Affects the National Pastime (McFarland Publishing, Spring 2009) while Dunno met with Ford to interview for a scouting position.

But Dunno left that session with more than a job. Rather, Ford offered Dunno the opportunity to develop five states — Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and western Pennsylvania — for the Perfect Game organization.

Rich DunnoSince that meeting, Dunno and Edgerton and several other key players — Brian Kreager, Steed Williams, Brad Burlew, Dean Ehle and Colleen McNutt — have worked tirelessly to plan the initial showcases and tournaments in the five-state area. Six showcases and tournaments are currently being planned for 2010.

Dunno has since begun training with Perfect Game, working on several events as Field Director and Scout, including the recent week-long 17U tournament in East Cobb, GA; which featured 189 of the top travel teams in the nation and close to 300 pro and college scouts in attendance.

Perfect Game is the largest youth baseball and softball scouting service in the world. 1,191 players out of 1,504 taken in the most recent June amateur draft have attended Perfect Game Showcases.

Dunno will head the baseball operations, assisted by Kreager, Williams and Burlew. Edgerton, Ehle and McNutt will create the softball showcases and tournaments. Tentative talks have been held with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, with at least one forthcoming event to be held at Parkview Field in downtown Fort Wayne.

Meanwhile, Dunno continues to operate Strike Zone. He and the other members of his management team are hosting a Juco Baseball Showcase at the Glen Oaks Community College diamond on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009.  It is open to high school ballplayers who are graduating in 2010 and 2011 as well as other players who have not yet secured a baseball scholarship. At least a dozen college coaches and scouts will be in attendance.

For directions, costs, participating institutions and other particulars, or to sign up for one of the few remaining spots, visit the Strike Zone website at or phone Rich Dunno at 260-705-7424. For information on Perfect Game USA, visit their website at

Photo contributed by Rich Dunno

This Week on Talkin’ Sports

Tune in Saturday morning at 9 to Talkin’ Sports on ESPN Radio 1380, as we’ll be talking with Komet legend George Drysdale about the Komet Legends/Detroit Red Wings exhibition game next Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.

We’ll also talk with Chad Gramling, author of the book Baseball in Fort Wayne. Chad will share with us how a local baseball organization will benefit financially from sales of his book.

We’ll preview the IHSAA Girls State Championship basketball games and Boys basketball sectional finals.The PSI/One Eleven Design Athlete of the Week will be named and we’ll be taking your phone calls at 447-8500 with comments, questions, rants and opinions.

Nominations for the PSI/One Eleven Design Athlete of the Week can be submitted to this e-mail address or:

Tune in Saturday mornings at 9 for Talkin’ Sports on WKJG-ESPN Radio 1380.

Talkin’ Sports is brought to you each week by: INdigital Telecom, Perfection Bakeries/Aunt Millie’s, Wise Insurance and PSI/One Eleven Design.

Talkin’ Sports. Local Guests. Local Topics. Local Opinion.

Buy the Book, Support NEIBA

Baseball in Fort WayneThe Baseball in Fort Wayne blog is going stronger than ever, with spring training producing a lot of traffic from researchers and fans looking for information about new and emerging faces on their teams. The Baseball in Fort Wayne book has reached a point in it’s life where the publisher (Arcadia) is reducing warehouse inventory. That being the case, I have been offered the opportunity to purchase copies at a discounted rate. So I have decided to make this into an opportunity that is a win-win-win-win for the readers/buyers, the publisher, me and the Northeast Indiana Baseball Association (NEIBA).

I have purchased some of the available copies. I intend to sell all of them at a rate that is discounted from the cover price AND $1.50 from each book sale will be donated to NEIBA! That’s right, $1.50 from EVERY BOOK SOLD.

To make this an easy process of managing the sales, shipping and inventory, I have set up a PayPal checkout process (see below). Please use this to make your purchase. I am happy to personally sign each that one that you buy. If you need more room to give me specific signing instructions, please send them via my on-line contact form AFTER you have made your purchase.

$17.00 Sales Price + Shipping (Media Mail). $1.50 of every purchase donated to the Northeast Indiana Baseball Assocation! Supply is limited, so order today!

Excerpts of Ducksnorts 2009 Annual Available

Geoff over at Ducksnorts has announced the availability of a ddownloadable excerpt of his Ducksnorts 2009 Annual. If you follow the Wizards/TinCaps at all or are a Padres fan, YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK. Here’s what Geoof has to say about it:

I am pleased (and relieved) to announce that excerpts from the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual are now available as a free download (PDF, 226k). The download is 24 pages long and includes the following:

  • From “Player Dashboards” — An explanation of what these things are, some league context, and dashboards for Adrian Gonzalez and Jake Peavy
  • From “Padres Farm Report” — An explanation of depth charts, player capsules, and commentary; also a spotlight on center field, with reports on Will Venable, Drew Macias, Cedric Hunter, Brad Chalk, Blake Tekotte, Jaff Decker, and Rymer Liriano
  • From “Hatching a Franchise” — The introductory essay, plus a detailed review of June 1969 (including top performers of the month, a brief list of events from around the world, and the Padres ‘69 amateur draft)

The entire 254-page book will ready for purchase on Tuesday. Myron Logan over at Friar Forcast has this to say about initial impressions:

I read through most of the preview, and I’m amazed at how detailed the commentary is. I mean, it’s not like you get a few comments on the players. With Gonzalez and Peavy, the two players available in the preview, it’s basically a full-blown essay. And a very fun, informative read, too.

I also really like the presentation of the stats, especially giving last years season line, plus the DS community projection and Geoff’s own personal projection. On Gonzalez and Peavy, the community was remarkably close (as was GY).