Two Baseball Authors Appearing at Carleton College

Kind readers of my book of baseball history often remark on the time and effort it took to do the research. But before I researched, I had to learn how. I did that by listening to and reading the work of people of experience and accomplishment — people such as Stew Thornley and Dan Levitt, two award-winning authors who will talk baseball and baseball history at 4 p.m., Monday, April 20, in the Gould Library Athenaeum at Carleton College.

The free public event, which is sponsored by the Carleton Bookstore, is part of the store’s weeklong celebration to mark the return of baseball. I can’t think of two better sources in Minnesota to help fans do just that.

No one knows more about the history of Minnesota baseball, on and off the field, than Thornley. That’s my opinion but I am not sure who else is even close. He has authored more than thirty-five books, including the one every fan of the game’s history in the North Star State should have: Minnesota Baseball: A Definitive History. His On to Nicollet: The Glory and Fame of the Minneapolis Millers won the Macmillan-SABR Award for baseball research and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. Another book, Holy Cow! The Life and Times of Halsey Hall was also a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and was named a best regional book of 1991. His other books include Land of the Giants: New York’s Polo Grounds and Hi Everybody!, written with legendary baseball broadcaster Herb Carneal.

Levitt isn’t perhaps as well known locally—yet—but he’s a nationally recognized authority on how major league teams are assembled. He is also one of those writers I envy for their ability to synthesize reams of information in a way that even my math-challenged mind can follow. Levitt authored the critically acclaimed Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees’ First Dynasty, the first biography of the man who ran the most successful sports franchise in American history, and he co-authored Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way, winner of the Sporting News-SABR baseball research award.

Not only are Thornley and Levitt fine writers, they are also terrific presenters. So even if you’re a diehard fan, I bet you’ll learn something from them. At least I know I have.

After all, is there a better way to start the season than with a doubleheader?

A few final fungoes: Baseball in Minnesota, Ed Barrow, and Paths to Glory will be on sale for 15 percent off at the event and before the event at the bookstore. For additional information about the event or the bookstore’s baseball week promotion, contact the store: 507-222-4153 or

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