By Its Cover is independent book review column. Selections are mostly made based on the book's cover. I'm testing the old saying in my quest to find new favorite authors and books.
Title: Notes of a Baseball Dreamer
Author: Robert Mayer
Robert Mayer grew up a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, from childhood until they moved to LA. This book is a memoir, chronicling his life and his passion for his team(s) and the game. Told in 9 chapters and an epilogue and prologue (pre- and post- game?), Mayer carefully recounts his days as a child in the Bronx as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan and all the pain that entitled. The memoir continues through to present day (at the time of publication), covering not just his dedication to mastering the game but also other milestones of life: being in high school, first love, losing a parent, getting married...finding yourself. All is intertwined and often related back to some aspect to the game, but it's done subtly, tastefully. His multiple timelines carried out in each section with each story with each chapter, each scene, being meticulously crafted, stitched together, completing itself...something like a baseball.
This book moves me to the point where I feel anything I type will not do it justice. I'm a baseball fan, for the team that Mayer hates (Yankees). During a not-so-good time in my life, the daily games of baseball, tracking the players and the teams were the only thing I cared about. Then came winter...and no baseball. So I made frequent trips to the library reading books about baseball to fill the void. That's when I found this book, under it's old title Baseball and Men's Lives: True Confessions of a Skinny-Marink. I was...at the title of this blog suggests...intrigued by the title. 'Skinny-marink' had been part of a song I'd learned as a child. But I never knew what it meant. Unfortunately Mayer doesn't either.
I'm currently on my second reading and I'm finding it just as transporting as the first time. Gone are the days when baseball alone filled my life. I have school, and a budding craft business...or two. This book is still dear to me. Normally, I don't go for memoirs or non-fiction books. But this one is special. It's the only book that I've gotten from the library and then had to purchase for myself. The list of other library 'must-haves' is short.