Spring training for couch potatoes: five books that every Blue Jays fan should read
By Ron Johnson
Newly minted Toronto Blue Jay and noted author R.A. Dickey
The city of Toronto hasn’t been as excited as it is now about the sport of baseball since the back-to-back World Series titles two decades ago. Thanks to some serious wheeling and dealing, the hometown side is now one of the favourites to win it all this year. That new reality has fans clamouring for information on the new team as well as on their competition.
To that end, here are five books to pick up for your own personal spring training session while the boys in blue are busy down in Dunedin, Fla., getting ready for the season. The team heads to Toronto to kick off the regular season on April 2 against the Cleveland Indians.
1. Wherever I Wind Up by R.A. Dickey
If there is any criticism of this book by the Blue Jays new ace pitcher, it is that readers might end up knowing too much about their new hero — it isn’t always a fairy-tale scenario. But, there is something to be said for honesty, and this book has it in spades. This is a unique individual and a person our city will surely come to love.
2. 100 Things Blue Jays Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Steve Clarke
Trivia is an important part of any true sports fan’s arsenal of over-achievement. If you don’t know what opposing team player killed a seagull by throwing a ball at it, then this book is for you. It is a guide to all the required information that would qualify you to get off the bandwagon and move to true Toronto Blue Jays fan status.
3. The Juju Rules by Hart Seely & Susan Canavan
The baseball world is rife with superstitions, and not just the players jumping over lines and following the same elaborate glove-tightening ritual during every at-bat. The world of good luck charms and bad luck curses extends to the fans as well. In this charming book, Hart Seely spells it out in detail.
4. Damn Yankees, edited by Rob Fleder
In every story there is an enemy, and for years now, the enemy of most Major League Baseball fans has been the dreaded New York Yankees. Their purported history of buying the best players on their way to racking up more championships than any other team makes it so. In Damn Yankees, 24 baseball scribes provide a unique insight into the team people love to hate.
5. Baseball Forecaster by Ron Shandler et al.
When fans are ready to take the next step and enter into the world of fantasy baseball, there is no better companion on the trip than the venerable Baseball Forecaster. This is the mother of all stats books, which will equip serious fans with more statistical information and analysis than they would ever really need to know to live a good, full life. Please exercise caution.