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4 Signed Novels with a Baseball Focus or Storyline Including “Strike Zone.

Lot 237. 4 Signed Novels with a Baseball Focus or Storyline Including “Strike Zone. ” And as a bonus, an unsigned novel as well. All of the books are hardbacks. 1. Jim Bouton, the New York Yankees pitcher who wrote “Ball Four” and Eliot Asinof, best known as the author of “Eight Men Out,” collaborated to create “Strike Zone.” Within a single fixed game, the book presents the life-and-death struggle between a 32-year-old rookie pitcher and a 60-year-old umpire forced into retirement and officiating his final game. The 1994 book is nm-m in an nm dust jacket. Bouton and Asinof placed mint 9 to gem mint 10 autographs on the title page. 2. Among science fiction and fantasy readers, Michael Bishop may be as recognizable as Bouton and Asinof are among baseball fans. His “Brittle Innings” novel presents a science fiction storyline involving two very different ballplayers during the 1943 season of a Class C fictional baseball team in Georgia. The two men forge a kinship that ultimately is tested by their ambition to reach the Major Leagues and by other critical factors. The 1994 first edition is nm and has an ex-m+ dust jacket. The book won the 1995 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel and was a finalist for the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Novel and other awards. Bishop’s other books have garnered numerous awards. His annotated autograph on the page facing the title page is mint 9. 3. One reviewer wrote that “The Veracruz Blues” by Mark Winegardner “has to be the saddest and most joyous baseball novel since ‘Bang the Drum Slowly’.” The setting for Winegardner’s novel is the 1946 Mexican League, populated by Major Leaguers who returned from World War II and were lured to Mexico by contracts far more generous than those being offered by MLB owners. The 1996 first edition is nm-m in an ex-m to nm dust jacket. Winegardner also wrote “The Godfather Returns” and “The Godfather’s Revenge.” His title page signature is nm-m 8 to mint 9. 4. A romance story in a collection of baseball novels? Yes, that’s “The Sweetheart Season,” a 1996 stated first edition romantic comedy novel by Karen Joy Fowler. The “Sweethearts” in Fowler’s novel are members of a women’s baseball team in post-War 1947 Minnesota. The team’s story is told years later by the daughter of one of the players. Whether her representation of what happened is accurate, or a version shaped by the 1960s and her experiences and biases, adds a significant dramatic element to the story, which also has historical and fantasy elements. The book is ex, and the dust jacket, nm. One of Fowler’s books was on the “New York Times’” list of bestsellers for 13 weeks. Her novels have received numerous awards. Her title page autograph is unimprovable, gem mint 10 5. “Chance” by Steve Shilstone, 1996 stated first edition, vg+ to ex book that shows soiling on the cover and has clean mint pages. The dust jacket also is vg+ to ex. This quirky book recounts the story of Chance Caine, a fictional Hall of Fame shortstop who provides unreliable and untruthful information to the narrator presenting his story. This book is not signed. Minimum Bid $25.    

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