Saturday, February 14, 2015

First blurb . . .

Our thanks to L.M. Sutter, author of Arlie Latham: A Baseball Biography of the Freshest Man on Earth, for this wonderful review:

“With a witty, crackling style, Jim Leeke tells the story of the most historically dramatic baseball game of all time. And there’s plenty of solid research behind his engaging newshound-on-the-scent prose. Nine Innings for the King should be on the bookshelf of every baseball fan and anyone interested in the sometimes surprising appearances our National Pastime has made on the international stage.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pre-order today . . .

Nine Innings for the King is now available for pre-order on, and Click the links below the cover to the right to reserve your copy today.
Both sites list the publication date July. We’ll keep you posted if that changes.
Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where you’ll find lots of news, links and photos.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

On Facebook and Twitter . . .

Nine Innings for the King is now on social media.
Follow our Facebook page here.
Follow us on Twitter here.
We’ll keep you posted on all the book news, plus lots more about baseball and the Great War.

Please follow us today!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Reserve your copy . . .

You can now pre-order your copy of Nine Innings for the King at the McFarland & Co. website. Just click on the link under the cover image at the right. We’ll let you know when McFarland announces the publication date, along with other exciting news. Come back soon!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New title ...

McFarland & Co. recently announced the title of our new WWI sports book. It’s Nine Innings for the King: The Day Wartime London Stopped for Baseball, July 4, 1918.
This first full account of what was later called the “King’s game” also explores the lives of several players, the brief history of the Anglo-American Baseball League, and armed-forces baseball played in England, France and the United States during the Great War. Altogether, it recreates the circumstances surrounding a unique, long-forgotten moment in American and British history.
Look for it in 2015!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Coming in 2015 . . .

Were happy to announce that McFarland & Co. will publish a second book about baseball in World War I. Written by author Jim Leeke, who brought you Ballplayers in the Great War, it will chronicle the history of the Anglo-American Baseball League. This American and Canadian military circuit played in and around London in 1918. The working title of the new book is The King’s Game.
The photo above was taken on July 4 at the Stamford Bridge football (soccer) ground in Chelsea. It shows King George V meeting U.S. Navy Yeoman First Class Mike McNally of the Boston Red Sox. That’s Admiral William Sims, commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe, watching the King shake hands with “Minooka Mike,” who also played later with the Yankees.
Check back again for more on the coming book.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Praise for 'Ballplayers' . . .

"The book is a worthy addition to the McFarland Historical Baseball Library series … recommended for hard-core baseball fans who will enjoy thinking of the Hall of Fame fantasy team they could put together from soldiers and sailors. … Part of the book’s fun is also learning about the lively personalities of lesser-known players." — Jhistory, H-Net Reviews

"Leeke’s book, using articles from more than six dozen publications, shows what happens when ballplayers are taken out of their element and thrown into another common, concentrated endeavor — one in which winning and losing have more lasting repercussions. Deadball devotees should consider it a necessary addition to the literature on the subject." — The Inside Game

Nominated for the 2014 Larry Ritter Book Award

Monday, November 11, 2013

The eleventh hour . . . .

Captain Eddie Grant,
New York Giants.
Killed in action, Argonne Forrest,
while attempting to rescue the Lost Battalion.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Front and center . . .

Some of baseball’s greatest names left the diamond for the armed forces or contributed to the effort in other useful ways during the First World War. Ballplayers in the Great War tells how all these men served:
  • Ty Cobb
  • Christy Mathewson
  • Tris Speaker
  • Eddie Collins
  • Johnny Evers
  • Rabbit Maranville
  • Casey Stengel
  • Hank Gowdy
  • Eddie Grant
  • Joe Jackson
  • Wally Pipp
  • Herb Pennock
  • Branch Rickey
  • George Sisler
Read all their stories and more. Order your copy of Ballplayers in the Great War today!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Leading the way . . .

Ballplayers in the Great War gives you actual news articles about big-league players in the armed forces during the World War—the first one, before they had numbers. Many of these men naturally played ball during their time in uniform, and a few even managed teams.
Here are five players who became skippers in the army and navy:
  • Jack Barry, Red Sox – Charlestown Navy Yard, Massachusetts
  • Hal Janvrin, Red Sox – Camp Devens, Massachusetts
  • Duffy Lewis, Red Sox – Mare Island Navy Yard, California
  • Phil Chouinard, White Sox – Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Illinois
  • John Lavan, Senators – Great Lakes, following Chouinard
Read about these military managers and others in Ballplayers in the Great War.