Thanks! But No Thanks..

Ron KaplanContributor IJuly 12, 2010

Believe it or not, I wouldn’t want this book , even if someone made me a present of it.


According to the NY Times ' piece by sports media writer Richard Sadomir, the leather-bound book: “The Official Major League Baseball Opus,” will come out in a limited edition (1,000 copies), packaged in a silk-covered clamshell case.

The huge volume is aimed at teams, corporations, wealthy fans, museums, and collectors.

You would think that the thought of  a “75-pound tome that traces the game’s history through 110,000 words and more than 1,000 photographs and illustrations” would be something I’d drool over. But the $3,000 price tag, kills it.

Even if I could afford it, this “conspicuous consumption” leaves me cold.

Baseball is supposed to be a game of the people, but this edition, produced by Major League Baseball, is just another gimmick.

But the good news (?): There’s a smaller, lighter, cheaper version, a bargain at “only” $295. I guess, relatively speaking, that is a great deal.

“I think we’ll sell 1,000 fairly quickly,” said Don Hintze, the vice president for publishing for Major League Baseball. “We think the smaller version, which is more for the masses , will do extremely well. We’ve gotten a lot of interest from clubs on the smaller book that they can sell to season-ticket holders, or give as gifts.”

I don’t know. Maybe I’m too sensitive, but I dislike the term “the masses.” It smacks of elitism, which, one would have to allow, is what this full-priced version is all about.



Another reason I wouldn’t want it:

Throughout the book, there are profiles of numerous players — Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, and current superstars like Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols. But the absence from this roster of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who have both been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, is noticeable, if not glaring.

“There was no big conversation about it,” Skelly said. Their omission, he added, “might have been subliminal; Major League Baseball is very conservative and I didn’t think I’d be missing anything if they weren’t profiled.”

No conversation? Subliminal? Not missed? One would think a great deal of conversation would go into the planning of a book that you’re selling for $3,000 .