inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #51 of 78: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sun 29 Sep 02 12:22
    
Yes, Steve. In fact, the publisher had to spend more money on new
advanced copies. There are two paperback uncorrected galleys. The first
is blue, without Rice, the second is red, with Rice. 

And gail, Routledge is paying for the tour. It's weird, that
Routledge. On the one hand, they've done a brilliant job of publicity,
yet on the other they appear to be so far over their heads in terms of
actually moving books. 

I understand it's a bigger book than their used to, but shouldn't that
be a good thing? 

Publishing houses never tell the writers the business parts of the
deal, but my moles tell me, that Routledge announced a print run of
20,000 copies, but really only printed a grand total of 6500, 4,000 of
which have shipped/sold, and 1900 or so are sitting in a warehouse in
CA. 

That explains why so many people are telling me that they can't find
the books, and that the book was #5 on the Boston Globe bestseller list
in the first week, but out of the top 10 in the second. We need to get
more books out there. 

Also, Clean, Well-Lighted is sold out, after selling all 50 at the
book signing.

This, however, doesn't mean the book has lost steam, because while it
was in stores, the sales rank of all books Amazon sold remained around
7,000 on Amazon. Now that it appears to be in fewer stores, today's
Amazon no. is 540, which is very, very good. 

What you need, of course, is both. You need stacks of books, visible
in the big stores, and you also need the type of publicity I've been
getting. I'm getting one of two, and you can see it in the skewering of
the numbers.

this is a very dangerous time.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #52 of 78: pointy, but rarely undeservedly savage (vard) Sun 29 Sep 02 16:08
    
I checked Powell's and they say they have 25 copies in their warehouse but 
none in the stores. MORONS.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #53 of 78: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sun 29 Sep 02 21:27
    
This is precisely the example of the old adage of spending money to
make it. The publisher won't print a large amount of copies for fear of
having them returned, instead of taking the position that the
visibility of the book will spur sales.

So what will happen? I'll do CNN and NPR and some other important
shows, people will look for the book, won't be able to find it, and
will move on to something else. 

Routledge, too late, will print some more copies of the book, but it
will take 2-3 weeks to get them from warehouse to store and by that
time, readers will have forgotten about this book and moved on. 

It's very disheartening. But the book as a matter of work has received
nothing but positives. 
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #54 of 78: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Mon 30 Sep 02 09:09
    
(quick note: if you're not a WELL member and would like to ask a question or
add a comment to this discussion, email   inkwell-hosts@well.com )
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #55 of 78: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Mon 30 Sep 02 10:53
    
Howard, a key question: In what ways, you think, does the Red Sox
orginzation's extended legacy of racism bear on the team today? In that
all major-league baseball teams were segregated until 1947, all 16 of
the pre-'47 teams carry a racist legacy, but with the Sox it lasted
longer -- 12 more years, in fact. Do you still see an impact on the
team now? 
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #56 of 78: EMAIL FROM DR. CONRAD MILLER (cdb) Mon 30 Sep 02 15:25
    

email from Dr. Conrad Miller:

The Red Sox are supposedly forever cursed by the Curse of
The Babe.  What about the curse of Willie Mays? probably the greatest
all around baseball player who ever lived (not to lessen the importance
of Mr. Ruth) who could have been a Red Sock, but ended up a NY Giant
instead?  Red Sox were the last team, if I am not mistaken, to finally
take down the race barrier.  They deserve never to win anything for
their bad karma.

An Old NY Giant and Willie Mays and NY Mets Fan,

                   Conrad Miller M.D.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #57 of 78: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Mon 30 Sep 02 21:51
    
Steve, the effects are still being felt today 1) because it is a
subject that has never been discussed in full detail either by the
Boston media, which has been conflicted on the topic for decades or by
Red Sox management, until now (We'll see what Mr. Henry & Co. do with
their special opportunity). 


But the real reason for the topic's relevance is that the concept of
race still affects the team's bottom line. When you have black players
who are nervous about Boston's reputation as a place to play (Griffey,
Puckett, Sheffield, Winfield, Justice, Grissom, etc...) this is a
critical situation. Bernie Williams mentioned it as a factor when he
was making his decision about staying with the Yankees or going to the
Red Sox back in 1998. 

Ths is a not dusty, stagnant discussion, uncovered from the archives.
It is a living consequence of the team's history, something that must
be confronted. There are tangible examples that suggest the team's
racial history affects it every day.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #58 of 78: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Tue 1 Oct 02 13:00
    
The emergence of Latin players in major-league baseball is an
interesting, if not parallel, complement to the story of black players.
Hardly anyone remembers the name of the player who broke the "Latin
Line," for example (geez, now I'm forgetting it, too). There were Latin
leagues, of course, but they existed in countries where Spanish was
the common language, and so were more hidden from mainstream America's
view than even the Negro Leagues were. 

Howard, what about the Red Sox experience for Latin players? Was there
an equal reluctance on Yawkey's, Cronin's and Harris's part to sign
Latin players? 
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #59 of 78: JOHN JAMES writes... (tnf) Fri 4 Oct 02 08:36
    

From John James in Raleigh NC:



I'm enjoying the discussion and looking forward to buying the book.

About the question of the Red Sox signing Latin players: just eyeballing the
names on the rosters, it appears the first Latin player they had was Bobby
Avila, a veteran player from Mexico, who played 22 games with Boston in 1959
(the same year Pumpsie Green debuted).  It's possible Avila joined the
roster shortly before Green did.

John James
Raleigh, NC
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #60 of 78: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Fri 4 Oct 02 13:37
    
The Latin experience has always been different in Boston, I suspect,
because the first prominent, prominent Latin player was Luis Tiant, a
guy who could make the worst despot smile. 


As for the Cronin, Higgins, Collins set, they waited till '59 to sign
a Latin player, too, which suggests that the attitudes of the club
covered nonwhite players, and not just blacks. 
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #61 of 78: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 4 Oct 02 13:49
    
I want to thank Howard and Steve for joining us in Inkwell.vue. This is
a fascinating discussion and I can hardly believe that it's already
been two weeks!

You're more than welcome to continue the discussion as long as you want.
The topic will remain open, so please feel free to keep talking, or to
use the topic to post any more book-signing dates you might have, Howard.

Thanks so much! It's a pleasure to have you here!
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #62 of 78: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Thu 10 Oct 02 11:33
    
Hey Howard, I heard a blurb on National Public Radio this morning to
the effect that tomorrow morning's "Morning Edition" program (Oct. 11)
will feature a segment on "the last major-league baseball team to
integrate." You going to be featured? (he asks with hope)

This morning's "Morning Edition" included a segment about Jackie
Robinson, drawing from a just-published book on Robinson that NPR's
"Weekend Edition" host Scott Simon wrote. 
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #63 of 78: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Thu 10 Oct 02 18:24
    
That would be me, with Juan Williams. I hope I'm awake to hear it!
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #64 of 78: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Thu 10 Oct 02 18:39
    
Hey now! Congratulations! 

And I'm going to get up extra early just to hear you twice. Really,
Howard, tomorrow's interview comprises terrific support for "Shut Out."
Kudos to you!

BTW, the Jackie Robinson segment this morning on "Morning Edition" was
very interesting. Scott Simon is a great interview, of course, but he
kept the focus on his subject. Cool factette: Robinson was playing for
the ping-pong championship of Pasedena at age 15 only a few months
after he picked up a paddle for the first time. 
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #65 of 78: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Thu 10 Oct 02 18:53
    
What have you heard about that book? Worth picking up, beyond simply
adding to the library?
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #66 of 78: pooning tang; tanging the poon (viv) Sat 19 Oct 02 14:38
    

I'm sorry I didn't visit this topic when it was ongoing.  It's a terrific
interview.  Thanks so much.  Going to seek out HOward's book.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #67 of 78: (fom) Sat 19 Oct 02 15:31
    
It could still be ongoing, if anyone has any questions...
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #68 of 78: pooning tang; tanging the poon (viv) Sat 19 Oct 02 19:30
    
Okay.  My question is about winter ball and whether black players
sought the winter leagues for a respite from racism. Or was it just a
change in geography?
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #69 of 78: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Mon 21 Oct 02 11:52
    
>>>What have you heard about that book? Worth picking up, beyond
simply adding to the library?<<<

The NY Times gave Simon's "Jackie Robinson ad the Integration of
Basebal" a lukewarm review in the 10/13/02 edition of the Book Review.
Sample: "Simon...is at his best when giving the reader the texture of
Robinson's story before he set foot on Ebbets Field... Unfortunately,
Simon too often lapses into familiar honorifics for Robinson, including
'knight,' 'hero' and 'lightning rod.' Then again, one reader's
banality can be another's signpost."

The reviewer, Alan Schwarz (who I'm sure you know, <ohmy>), was much
more enthusiastic about "Extra Bases: Reflections on Jackie Robinson,
Race, and Baseball History," the new book by Jules Tygiel, described in
the review as "perhaps the leading expert on baseball and
integration." This is a collection of essays by Tygiel, who is a
professor of history at SF State. The one I very much want to read
that's in the book is titled "Ken Burns Meets Jackie Robinson." 

The 10/13 Book Review also includes a page reviewing new Mickey Mantle
and Sandy Koufax biographies.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #70 of 78: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Mon 21 Oct 02 18:37
    
Jules is a great guy, and his "Baseball's Great Experiment" is a
groundbreaking work. He gave everyone who came after him a roadmap to
find reporting no one seemed to have much interest in. 

Despite being "Shut Out" by the Boston Globe and NYT (at least for
now), The Nation offered up a very strong and insightful review of the
book. The reviewer, Louis Masur, was very thorough in his commentary. 

He did say that he thought I was "too hard" on Peter Gammons.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #71 of 78: pointy, but rarely undeservedly savage (vard) Mon 21 Oct 02 22:12
    

heh!
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #72 of 78: Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Thu 7 Nov 02 13:32
    
 I hope Howard still checks in here! I have a question ==I haven't
read your book yet, but I am wondering if you interviewed Pumpsie
Green? He lives in Oakland and I met him last summer.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #73 of 78: Andrew Alden (alden) Thu 7 Nov 02 13:47
    
Pumpsie appears throughout the book. He's a crucial character.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #74 of 78: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 9 Nov 02 00:57
    
Yes, I did interview Pumpsie on dozens of occasions. Sadly, his wife
was very angry at me for writing about him in such detail, for she
maintains that I have robbed him of his own opportunity to write his
memoirs (he's been retired for 38 years now). It was a bizarre exchange
(I never heard from Pumpsie himself about how he felt about the book)
which ended with me telling Mrs. Green that history does not belong to
one person, even the person in the center of it. I tried to appeal to
her that positive interest in my book enhances Pumpsie's chances to
find publishers enthusiastic. She would have none of it, and we haven't
spoken in a couple of months. Oh well.
  
inkwell.vue.159 : Howard Bryant, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston"
permalink #75 of 78: Jim Klopfenstein (klopfens) Mon 11 Nov 02 11:09
    

Howard, I just read your book this weekend, and think it's a valuable
addition to my baseball library.  There are so many things that, as a
lifelong fan, I had never realized or thought about.

The earliest teams I watched, in the late 50s and early 60s, were all
integrated and many included Latin players.  But you've opened my eyes
as to how recent and incomplete the process of integration was at the
time (and still is, in some ways and in some places).

I found the inside information about Boston baseball writing
particularly interesting, especially regarding Will McDonough and Peter
Gammons.  I noticed you thanked McDonough in the acknowledgements,
though you were very hard on him in the book.  Have you gotten any
feedback from him (or from his son, Sean)?
  

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