J. David Herman
Every spring or summer and typically when baseball season is fully underway, we look forward to a presentation by one of our friends from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). This year J. David Herman will speak about his book, Almost Yankees: The Summer of '81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You've Never Heard Of (University of Nebraska Press), a poignant and nostalgic narrative of the lives and travails of Minor League Baseball, focusing on the 1981 championship season of the New York Yankees’ Triple-A farm club, the Columbus Clippers. That year was especially notable in the annals of baseball history as the year Major League Baseball went on strike in midseason. When that happened, the Clippers were suddenly the best team in baseball and found themselves the focus of national media attention. Many of these Minor Leaguers sensed this was their last, best chance to make an impression and fulfill their dreams to one day reach the majors. Featuring interviews with more than thirty former players (including Steve Balboni, Dave Righetti, Buck Showalter, and Pat Tabler) and dozens of other baseball and media figures, this season’s narrative chronicles success, failure, resilience, and redemption as told by a special group of players with hopes and dreams of big-league glory.
Co-presented with SABR.