This is a shameless plug, but not a shameful plug, as I think the item in question is pretty nifty. The Hall of Nearly Great is a new e-book out later this month featuring profiles of players that are too good to forget but weren't deemed worthy of the Hall of Fame. The list of contributors includes a number of SB standbys, including yours truly:
R.J. Anderson, Cee Angi, Tommy Bennett, Ted Berg, Jon Bernhardt, Jon Bois, Grant Brisbee, Dave Brown, Craig Calcaterra, Carson Cistulli, Cliff Corcoran, Craig Fehrman, Chad Finn, Steven Goldman, Owen Good, Jay Jaffe, Christina Kahrl, King Kaufman, Jonah Keri, Matthew Kory, Will Leitch, Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, Rob Neyer, Eric Nusbaum, Bill Parker, Jason Parks, Jeff Passan, Joe Posnanski, Old Hoss Radbourn , David Raposa, David Roth, Jon Sciambi, Emma Span, Cecilia Tan, The Common Man, Wendy Thurm, Jon Weisman, Josh Wilker, and Jason Wojciechowski.
Yesterday, co-editor Sky Kalkman tweeted a picture of my chapter on the Yankees captain Don Mattingly and the madness that surrounded him during his time as a player:
I hope you will give it a try; the project was put together and executed by some of the finest writers I know, as well as a few I would like to know better if only they would return my calls. It's cliche to say that something was a labor of love, but for me, revisiting Mattingly in this context truly was that--I think it has been forgotten just how extremely dysfunctional the Yankees were during his prime (so dysfunctional I couldn't capture all of it in one chapter) and just how badly this "true Yankee" sometimes wanted out. The other authors probably had a little less of the Madness of King George to deal with (except for those writing about other recent Yankees, of which there are a few), but I'm sure in their own way they labored to extract their subjects from the shroud of sentimental forgetfulness that tends to drop over everything about a player's career except his statistics.
Again, The Hall of Nearly Great is out this month. You can see the cover and some other information, including a new endorsement by official MLB historian John Thorn, at the book's Facebook page. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled All-Star Game nonsense.