Sept. 27, 2010: On This Day in History

On September 27th, 1998 a record was set that we would have never thought could be done, and one we never thought would be repeated. Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals hit his record-setting 69th and 70th home runs in the last game of the season to beat out Sammy Sosa in the Home Run race. At that time, the use of steroids wasn’t even a consideration. Years later, when the record was impossibly broken by Barry Bonds*, there were countless questions, accusations, and investigations to his sudden power surge. This resulted in the largest exposure of a drug scandal to hit professional sports ever, and has spurred on completely new areas of study about sports, regulation, and the standards by owners that lead to drug abuse. New to the University Libraries are some books written on the subject in the current year, past much of the controversy and accusations. These books are able to reflect and give a fresh perspective now that most athletes involved have been named and regulations imposed. The effect is far from over however, as we see stricter testing and more importance being put on the public image of individuals as well as entire teams and sports organizations. Here are some sample titles in Snell Library’s collections: Doping in Sports Athletes who Indulge Their Dark Side Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love and more!

New Exhibit: The Negro Baseball League

Check out the exhibit of The American Negro Baseball League on the first floor. This exhibit was compiled and displayed thanks to our current co-op Krissy Lattanzio. It details the early days of baseball integration (which our home team was famously late on), in mostly color photographs and reproductions from several books. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a quote from Rube Foster, the founder of the Negro Baseball League; “We are the ship, all else the sea.” “We are the Ship” is also the title of a book by writer and painter Kadir Nelson, also quoted in the exhibit. Library goers must be urged to check out this modest but interesting exhibit; this corner of the library, at the bottom of the stairs, is all too often ignored.


Hey folks, it’s late March, and I wish I were in Fort Myers, Florida. Not just because it was snowing in Boston this morning, although that’s probably a good enough reason. But no, the real reason I’d like to be there is ’cause then I’d already be enjoying some Red Sox baseball! Opening Day is just around the corner, and I can’t wait. The Sox are due to be playing their much-hyped season-opening games against the Oakland A’s in Japan in just a few short days. Yes, you can catch those on TV — too bad the start time for both is 6:05 AM, Eastern Daylight Time! Maybe you want to read something about the team to get psyched up for the start of the season. One title I definitely enjoyed is One Day at Fenway — a great choice for anyone who (like me) hasn’t actually got tickets to a game. Author Steve Kettmann and his team of researchers attended the August 30, 2003 Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway and had access to multiple different viewpoints — celebrities in the crowd, everyday fans, team owners, even the scoreboard operator. The resulting book is an incredibly detailed and fascinating look at one regular-season baseball game with pennant-race implications (the Sox-Yanks rivalry helps!) and, more broadly, the relationship of fans of all stripes to the sport. Definitely a fun read, with all kinds of interesting tidbits and background information about the game that you probably didn’t know. Snell Library has lots of other books on baseball, and on the Sox: for example, try a Subject search on Boston Red Sox. And yes, if you must, you can also get Subject results for the New York Yankees, but I’m not going to automate that search for you. 🙂 Happy reading, in anticipation of that wonderful soon-to-be-heard cry, “Play ball!”