Author Bio & Stories

  • September 17, 2013
    Hang A Crooked Number

    An excerpt from Matthew Callan's new novel "Hang A Crooked Number," which is surely the best book about baseball and a secretive spy organization knwn as the Moe Berg Society that a Classical contributor has written so far this year.

  • In 1999, Major League Baseball and its umpires came to the brink of labor armageddon, with the vast majority of the game's veteran umpires threatening to retire en masse as the season came down the stretch. A decade and change later, it's all a distant memory—and both sides seem, belatedly and improbably, to have gotten what they wanted.

  • September 11, 2012
    Consider The Umpire

    When the veteran American League ump Ron Luciano wrote The Umpire Strikes Back in 1982, it was a bestseller as a quintessential Dad Book: a safe, sports-y Father's Day gift. Thirty years later, and 17 years after Luciano died by his own hand, the book looks like something altogether stranger, sadder, and more interesting. This may be the saddest baseball book ever written.

  • The night that Bobby Valentine donned the worst disguise in baseball history wasn't exactly the most important moment in the New York Mets' odd and almost-wonderful 1999 season. But, as this excerpt from Matthew Callan's e-book Yells For Ourselves proves, Valentine's eye-black-aided transformation into "The Lurker" had a goofy significance of its own.

  • After a 50-year wait for a no-hitter, Mets fans were happy to accept Johan Santana's streak-snapping gem. But Santana has provided more than just the organization's first no-no—and earned more than respect in the process.

  • As a commissioner, Bud Selig makes a pretty great owner. The seemingly inevitable expansion of the MLB Playoffs is just another example of Selig Doing Selig, for all the usual reasons.

  • February 17, 2012
    Kids

    Gary Carter was a bright and proudly uncool presence on a some great and greatly dark Mets teams, but he was more than that. For the late catcher, "Kid" wasn't so much a nickname as a state of mind that approached a state of grace.

  • There's no reason to put Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek in a documentary about UCLA basketball, really. But until you actually watch Manzarek's performance in a documentary about UCLA basketball it's hard to understand why not. Let's fix that.

  • December 13, 2011
    Baseball's Hall of Shame

    In terms of their cover art, The Baseball Hall of Shame series of the 1980s look a lot like VHS boxes for lower-end teen comedies. But what's between those covers sounds uncannily like today's irrereverent, obsessive sports internet. There's a good reason for that.

  • Plenty of people were sad when Albert Pujols bounced on the Cardinals. But only one visionary jerk thought to videotape himself making his child cry about it, and then put the video online.