Spitball Magazine

Spitball Baseball Magazine Bat

Spitball is a literary baseball magazine founded in 1981 and dedicated to poetry, short fiction, prose, art, and book reviews; all devoted to baseball. In 1983 Spitball established the CASEY Award to honor the authors and publishers of the best baseball books published each year. The CASEY was the first award of its kind, and it is widely recognized as the most prestigious award that a baseball book can be given.

 A key component of Spitball's mission is the timely publication of authoritative, lively, and appreciative reviews of quality baseball books. These reviews can be found in our Baseball Books Reviewed section. We also publish short and to-the-point reviews of current baseball books in the "Baseball Book News" column at the back of each issue of Spitball Magazine.

Spitball's Latest News

Kostya Kennedy Wins 2014 CASEY Award!
Banquet to be Hosted Once Again by Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery
January 16, 2015
Cincinnati, OH

Pete Rose, Kostya Kennedy
Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year is Kostya Kennedy and Time Home Entertainment Inc. for Pete Rose: An American Dilemma. Kennedy's book received two First Place votes and one Fifth Place vote (a score of 1-1-5) to secure the win by four points over two other books, which tied for second place with scores of 1-2-8 and 3-3-5. The showing turned in by Pete Rose: An American Dilemma was especially impressive given the outstanding field of Finalists, which was extended by two books over the normal total of 10 Finalists. "The Judges had a difficult task indeed," said Spitball Editor Mike Shannon, "but they did exactly what they were supposed to do: working independently of each other, they identified the best baseball book of the year." Judge Scott Ferkovich had this to say about the winner of the 32nd CASEY Award: "You do not have to have a passionate stance one way or the other regarding Pete Rose in order to enjoy Kennedy's book. You do not have to particularly like Pete Rose the person. You do not have to care whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame. I certainly didn't. I'd already grown tired of the sordid story of Rose. But this book rekindles (indeed reinvents) the  debate, the emotion, the shouting and the tumult, the champagne and the glory, the hustle and the hustler, and the seamy underside that was and is so much a part of the life of Peter Edward Rose. Kennedy instills it all with the stuff of Shakespearean tragedy, yet takes no sides. He is an immensely talented writer who knows what he is doing, and he does it better than just about anybody else." Kennedy becomes the second two-time winner of the CASEY Award, along with Howard Bryant.
    The Editors of Spitball congratulate Kostya Kennedy and Time Home Entertainment Inc. and all the Nominated Finalists for the 2014 CASEY; and offer their sincere gratitude to Judges Bob Cairns, Scott Ferkovich, and Andy Sturgill for their service. The 32nd annual CASEY Awards Banquet will take place on Sunday March 15, 2015, at 2:00 in the afternoon at Crosley's Sports Bar & Eatery (4901 Vine Street) in St. Bernard, OH, a suburb of Cincinnati.

 The Spitball 75
January 11, 2015
Cincinnati, Ohio

The editors of Spitball are proud to present "The Spitball 75," the best 75 baseball poems published in "The Literary Baseball Magazine" over the first 75 issues of the Magazine's existence. The variety and quality on display in these 75 wonderful baseball poems are a testament to the support that Spitball has received from the very best practitioners of the art of writing poetry about the greatest game in the world for more than 30 years. Sincere thanks to all the poets who have been published in Spitball and to everyone who voted to help us editors come to the final, very difficult decisions we did. Most of all, CONGRATULATIONS to the poets of The Spitball 75!

Finalists for 2014 CASEY Award Announced
November 3, 2014
Cincinnati, Ohio
The editors of Spitball announced today the Finalists for the 2014 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year. The complete list can be found on the "CASEY Award" page of this website. Twelve books made the final cut and now have a chance to win baseball literature's most coveted prize, the blue & gold Louisville Slugger bat which symbolizes the CASEY. About the unusual number of books on the list Editor-in-Chief Mike Shannon had this to say, "We try to keep the list of Finalists at 10 because our Judges actually read all the books Nominated ... unlike what happens with the Oscars where some of their "experts" vote for movies they've never even viewed. This year the number of outstanding baseball books published made that impossible, and we are feeling a little melancholy about having to leave some of those deserving books off the short list. On the other hand, the list that exists is extremely strong, and we anticipate a real dog fight among them. We don't envy the Judges but trust that they will come to a decision that identifies the one book that deserves a little more than the others the title of Best Baseball Book of the Year. We congratulate all the Finalist Nominees and their publishers and look forward to the verdict of our distinguished panel of Judges."

2014 CASEY Judges Panel Announced
Spitball Magazine is pleased to announce that the Judges panel for the 2014 CASEY Award will consist of Bob Cairns, Scott Ferkovich, and Andy Sturgill.
Bob Cairns (Denton, NC) has published hundreds of magazine articles and is the author of several books, including two about baseball: Pen Men and The Comeback Kids.
A graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, Scott Ferkovich (Canton, MI) writes for several baseball websites and is a contributing editor to the annual Emerald Guide to Baseball.
Andy Sturgill (West Chester, PA) is a financial aid officer at Ursinus College and a member of SABR and has contributed to several baseball books.



Spitball Issue #75 Mailed to All Subscribers on Monday October 27, 2014

The Fall 2014 issue, #75, was mailed to all subscribers on Monday October 27, 2014. It has a cover of recently inducted Hall of Famer Frank Thomas; done once again by the incomparable Scott Hannig. The issue features another installment of Chapbook Corner on Barton Friedman's "You Can't Tell the Players"; Mark Schraf's wonderful Cooperstown Report; one great short story about former ML pitcher Bobo Newsome by Bruce Baskin and another wild tale by Jon Leavitt (accompanied by a fantastic Richard A. Tomasic illustration); great baseball poetry by Con Chapman, Joe Stanton, Mark Metzler, Ron McFarland, and Bruce Niedt; news about notable new baseball books of 2014; another Card Blanche column; and more. If you are a subscriber and do not receive this issue within ten days of its mailing, please contact the Spitball office via email @ spitball5@hotmail.com. We gratefully thank all subscribers and invite those of you who love baseball and literature but for some reason are not subscribers to join us.

After many requests, we have finally made a new Spitball tee shirt. The new shirt proudly displays the current Magazine logo
(designed by the great Donnie Pollard) across the chest so that people will instantly know that you are a baseball fan of the highest order, one with intelligence, taste, and an appreciation for literature.

This is a TOP QUALITY (of course) shirt made by Port. It is a 100% pre-shrunk cotton, 6.1 thickness shirt favored by fire and police departments for its durability and comfort. It is royal blue (the official Spitball color) with white imprinting.

We recommend size XL for all adult men, unless a snug fit is desired.
Sizes available are M, L, XL, and, for additional cost, 2XL and larger.
Cost is $12 per shirt plus $3 shipping for M-XL.
Cost for 2XL is $15 per shirt plus $3 shipping.
Order Online via PayPal from the STORE PAGE (Paypal Acct. not required); or
send check or M.O. to: Spitball, 5560 Fox Road, Cincinnati, OH 45239

Spitball Acquires Minor Trips Newsletter

June 5, 2014
Cincinnati, OH
Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine
announced today that it has purchased "Minor Trips," a newsletter devoted to minor league baseball, now in its 24th year of publication. Minor Trips will continue to be published in the same format and under the same title as before, with founder and former publisher Bob Carson remaining involved as an Editor Emeritus, contributor, and advisor. Spitball Editor-in-Chief Mike Shannon will assume the role of Editor and Publisher of Minor Trips, while relying heavily on the expertise and guidance of Carson. "There is no reason to re-invent the RV wheel (the one that takes MT readers to minor league games around the country) ," said Shannon. "Bob has created a wonderful publication that is supported by fiercely loyal and highly knowledgeable baseball fans, and we simply want to continue doing what he has been doing all these past years to give minor league baseball fans such a great forum for connecting with other fans who share their interest and passion. We have some ideas that we hope will make Minor Trips even better eventually, but we want to assure all of Bob's loyal readers that we have tremendous respect for the newsletter as it exists now and plan to introduce any changes very slowly and carefully so that readers, we hope, hardly notice any transition at all. Bob simply has too many things on his plate right now to give Minor Trips the attention it deserves, so we are thrilled to be able to continue in his footsteps." Spitball and Minor Trips will remain separate publications, although Shannon indicated that cost-saving synergies will be sought in all areas of production and fulfillment. Until an internet presence and an on-line payment option is established for Minor Trips, new subscribers should send payment of $15 for the 2014 Minor Trips newsletters to the Spitball office at: 5560 Fox Road, Cincinnati, OH 45239.

New Rate in Effect for LIFETIME Subscriptions
(See below)
New Price in Effect; Recognition for Lifetime Subscribers Coming Soon
When you invest in a LIFETIME Subscription to Spitball, you not only avoid the hassle of renewing every year, thereby saving us the trouble of reminding you to do so, you also guarantee that you will never miss an issue of the magazine. Ever. Most important of all, you help support the second oldest all-baseball periodical extant and the only one that is of a literary nature. The price for a LIFETIME Subscription has gone up $25 to $125, but that is still a remarkable value. Make yourself the envy of all your baseball buddies by becoming a Spitball LIFETIME Subscriber today! Visit the store page of this website to order your lifetime subscription.  

Lifetime Subscribers are now acknowledged on a special page on the Spitball website. In addition, each Lifetime Subscriber is presented, as a token our appreciation, with a handsome certificate, meant to be framed and hung proudly in his home or office. Thanks to all subscribers and especially to those who have made a lifetime commitment to the Magazine.