Reading Sports Books

It’s been awhile since I have blogged from this site. I am always trying to find ways to find material to bring here but the real problem is that I spend most of my time at KnupSports. It is there I make picks and do book reviews. It is those book reviews that bring me back here. I spent 2017 with a goal to re-kindle my interest in reading. In doing so, I felt the best way was to read sports so that I could share that information with other people. HERE are our reviews at KnupSports in 2017.

So now we turn to 2018 and I hope to continue my reading. Here at my personal blog, I will be letting you know of some of the books that will be released during the year. I hope to read some/most of them and continue reviewing that at KnupSports.


Due to be released on January 22nd is a book about the stunning life reversal of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez.  He was an NFL star who made the game of football look easy. Until he became the prime suspect in a gruesome murder. What happened? This book is All American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, by James Patterson and Alex Abramovich. Look for it soon and when I get the review written, I will let you know.




A couple baseball-related books that I have my eyes on are coming out soon. Author Bill Nowlin will attempt to let the world in on the life of longtime Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey is all about. I am interested to see if Nowlin tackles the common knowledge facts about Yawkey that he was racially biased and actually held the Red Sox back by not allowing black players on his team. The book is scheduled for release on February 1 and it is called, Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox. This is a must-read for me.





Another book comes out on March 15 and it is about the life of Joe Maddon. The former Rays and current Cubs manager likes to be known as a pioneer in his thinking in baseball. Try Not to Suck: Life of Joe Maddon will be one that I put on my reading list for 2018.



Some books that may interest you have come out TODAY (January 9):

The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide to Football Glory – The Story of Béla Guttmann, by David Bolchover. One of the first globetrotting club soccer coaches and a Hungarian Jew who escaped from a slave labour camp and survived the Holocaust.

The Cricket War: The Story of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket, by Gideon High. The story of the noteworthy 1977 televised event that profoundly shook up Australian cricket.


January 23 Release

Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence, by Karen Crouse. The New York Times reporter relocated to a place that has produced more U.S. Olympians per capita, and discovered so much more.


Looking Backwards:

Coming in the next week to KnupSports Book Reviews will be “Golden: The Story of Steph Curry”. This is a good book to read or give as a gift to basketball fans.



If you have any good sports books to read, let me know and I will check them out.

Carl Erskine pitched two no hitters.



Carl Daniel Erskine (born December 13, 1926) is a former right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1948 through 1959. He was a pitching mainstay on Dodger teams which won five National League pennants, peaking with a 1953 season in which he won 20 games and set a World Series record with 14 strikeouts in a single game. Erskine pitched two of the NL’s seven no-hitters during the 1950s. Following his baseball career, he was active as a business executive and an author.

Known as “Ersk”, or more accurately “Oisk”, owing to the Brooklynese diction of the borough, Erskine signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946, and after two minor league seasons he made the team in July 1948 as part of a powerful squad that included Roy Campanella, Carl Furillo, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider. Along with Snider and Reese, he lived in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bay Ridge, and was frequently to be found around the baseball diamonds on Shore Road, offering encouragement to youngsters.

Born: December 13, 1926 (age 90)
Anderson, Indiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 25, 1948, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
June 14, 1959, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 122–78
Earned run average 4.00
Strikeouts 981
Brooklyn / Los Angeles Dodgers (1948–1959)
Career highlights and awards
All-Star (1954)
World Series champion (1955)
Pitched two no-hitters
Erskine is also a very active member of the First Baptist Church of Anderson, Indiana.
In 2002, Erskine Street in Brooklyn was created and named after him.


Ralph Joseph “Putsy” Caballero (November 5, 1927 – December 8, 2016) was an infielder in Major League Baseball. Caballero played eight seasons in Major League Baseball, all for the Philadelphia Phillies during the Whiz Kids era, and holds the record as the youngest person in major league history to appear at third base.


After graduating from Jesuit High School in New Orleans at age 16, the Phillies signed Caballero to a contract worth $10,000. Following a few short stints at the major league level and playing parts of three seasons in the minor leagues, Caballero was named the Phillies starter at third base in 1948. In his only season as an everyday player, Caballero batted .245 in 380 plate appearances at age 20. After another stint in the minors in 1949, he was a backup infielder, pinch hitter, and pinch runner for the 1950 Phillies, and continued in that role through 1952. Following three more years in the minors, Caballero retired from baseball after the 1955 season.
After baseball, Caballero worked as an exterminator. His Louisiana home was destroyed in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, where he lost signed memorabilla from Babe Ruth and Pete Rose. He then lived in Lakeview, New Orleans.


Born: November 5, 1927
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: December 8, 2016 (aged 89)
Lakeview, New Orleans
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 14, 1944, for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1952, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average .228
Home runs 1
Runs batted in 40
Games played 322
Philadelphia Phillies (1944–1945; 1947–1952)
Career highlights and awards
1950 National League pennant winner



With his departure, Charlie Gorin now is added and becomes this 100th Oldest Living Former Major Leaguer.

William Franklin Endicott (September 4, 1918 – November 26, 2016) was a left fielder who played briefly for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1946 season. A native of Acorn, Missouri, he batted and threw left-handed. Endicott posted a .200 batting average (4-for-20) with two runs and three RBI in 20 games, including three doubles, and a .333 on-base percentage without home runs.



Born: September 4, 1918
Acorn, Missouri
Died: November 26, 2016 (aged 98)
Sacramento, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 21, 1946, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 18, 1946, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average .200
At bats 20
Hits 4



The next oldest former Cardinals player is Wally Westlake (OF-3B). He is currently 96 years, 31 days old and born on November 8, 1920.


We have five former major leaguers that were born in Illinois on December 1st.


Daniel Ernest Schatzeder

Daniel Ernest Schatzeder was on born December 1, 1954 in Elmhurst, Illinois and is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the major leagues from 1977–1991 for nine different teams.


Schatzeder played college baseball at the University of Denver. After he retired from the majors, he was a Physical Fitness teacher at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois until he retired after the 2014-2015 school year.

In 1986, Schatzeder had 5 pinch hits for the Montreal Expos, the most by a pitcher since Don Newcombe in 1959.
Schatzeder was the winning pitcher for the Minnesota Twins in Game 6 of the 1987 World Series.

Born: December 1, 1954
Elmhurst, Illinois
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 4, 1977, for the Montreal Expos (Boxscore)
Last MLB appearance
May 25, 1991, for the Kansas City Royals
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 69–68
Earned run average 3.74
Strikeouts 748
Montreal Expos (1977–1979)
Detroit Tigers (1980–1981)
San Francisco Giants (1982)
Montreal Expos (1982–1986)
Philadelphia Phillies (1986–1987)
Minnesota Twins (1987)
Cleveland Indians (1988)
Minnesota Twins (1988)
Houston Astros (1989–1990)
New York Mets (1990)
Kansas City Royals (1991)
Career highlights and awards
World Series champion (1987)




Kirk Rueter

Kirk Wesley Rueter (born December 1, 1970) is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, and is the most successful left-hander in San Francisco Giants history. Rueter played for the Montreal Expos and the Giants and made most of his career appearances as a starter. Rueter attended and played for Murray State University. He is nicknamed “Woody” after his resemblance to a character in the animated movie Toy Story, although during his time in Montreal he was often referred to as “Captain Kirk”. Rueter was born in Centralia, Illinois, grew up in Hoyleton, Illinois and graduated from Nashville Community High School District 99 in Nashville, Illinois in 1988.


Born: December 1, 1970
Hoyleton, Illinois
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
July 7, 1993, for the Montreal Expos (Boxscore)      In his debut he pitched 8.1 innings and allowed 2 hits, walked three and fanned five for the win.
Last MLB appearance
July 29, 2005, for the San Francisco Giants
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 130–92
Earned run average 4.27
Strikeouts 818
Montreal Expos (1993–1996)
San Francisco Giants (1996–2005)


Lefty Sloat

Daniel Clifford Sloat was born in Nokomis, Illinois on December 1, 1918. He went on to be a lefthanded pitcher for nine games in the 1948 and 1949 seasons for Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs.


He made his debut on April 24, 1948, for the Brooklyn Dodgers (boxscore)

Line Score = 0.1IP/0H.1ER.3BB/0K/4BF
Last MLB appearance
May 13, 1949, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
Record 0-1
Earned run average 6.61
Strikeouts 4


Charlie High

Charles Edwin High (1898–1960) was an American Major League Baseball outfielder. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1919 and 1920 season.


Charles Edwin High

Position: Rightfielder
Bats: Left, Throws: Right
Height: 5′ 9″, Weight: 170 lb.

Born: December 1, 1898 in Ava, IL
School: St. Louis University (St. Louis, MO)
Debut: September 5, 1919 vs. BOS 1 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 SB
Team: Athletics 1919-1920


Last Game: October 1, 1920 (Age 21.305) vs. WSH 2 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Died: September 11, 1960 in Oak Grove, OR (Aged 61.285)
Buried: Portland Memorial Cemetery, Portland, OR



Mike Cvengros

Michael John Cvengros (December 1, 1900 – August 2, 1970) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He played all or part of six seasons in the majors, between 1922 and 1929, for the New York Giants, Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago Cubs. After his major league career, he played in the minor leagues until 1937, mostly for the Houston Buffaloes. In that final season, he served part of the year as the Buffaloes’ manager.


Born: December 1, 1900
Pana, Illinois
Died: August 2, 1970 (aged 69)
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Batted: Left Threw: Left


MLB debut
September 30, 1922, for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
October 5, 1929, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 25–40
Strikeouts 201
Earned run average 4.59
New York Giants (1922)
Chicago White Sox (1923–1925)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1927)
Chicago Cubs (1929)


The College Football people are capitalizing on a Sunday since the NFL doesn’t start until next weekend. This will be a night game and is likely to draw a lot of interest in wagering and viewership.

So far this week, I am currently 9-6 on the young season as I went 4-1 on Thursday, 2-3 for Friday and finished with 3-2 on Saturday. This is the only game of the day with another blockbuster being played tomorrow.


My Play


Notre Dame @ Texas

When: 7:30 PM ET, Sunday, September 4, 2016
Where: Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas


Notre Dame has thoughts of a national championship with two quarterbacks capable of leading them. Malik Zaire was up to the task early last season before being succumbed by an ankle injury which gave way to DeShone Kizer finishing the season. The Longhorns will rely on senior Tyrone Swoopes as one of their leaders with freshman Shane Buechele battling him for the start. Texas hasn’t announced that decision yet.

Zaire’s lone full game last season was the opener at home against Texas, during which he completed 19-of-22 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-3 thrashing. Kizer ended up with 21 passing TDs and 10 rushing scores in a breakout campaign and both quarterbacks are expected to go in Week 1, though the team has yet to decide which will take the first snap

The Longhorns look like an improved team after closing the 2015 campaign with a win at Baylor and bringing in another top recruiting class.  Swoopes got the start last season at Notre Dame and went 7-of-22 for 93 yards as the Longhorns were outgained 527-163.


What Might Matter

Texas has won 15 home openers in a row while Notre Dame has lost CB Devin Butler to battery charges and  CB Ashton White, RB Dexter Williams, WR Kevin Stepherson and LB Te’von Coney are all on the depth chart and are expected to play while awaiting word on a possible school-imposed suspension related to an arrest last month.


Placing the Money

This game has all the earmarkings of a very good game from start to finish. Currently, Notre Dame is a -3.5 favorite on the road. I find that a bit too large as the Texas Longhorns are a resurging team in 2016. If I had to guess a score I would go with Notre Dame winning 27-24. Therefore, I bet Texas to cover (+3.5) for this game. 











College Football Picks


Yesterday, in this article, I gave you my picks for the games on Sept. 1st.   I went 4-1 with Tennessee not holding up.


If you want to wager some money here are my Top 5 Picks for tonight.



Colorado State +8.5 against Colorado


Stanford -14.5 at home vs Kansas State


Toledo +4.5 @ Arkansas State


Temple -15 facing Army


Georgia State -3.5 at home with Ball State


YEAR to Date= 4-1


Good Luck!

Here is my quick pick 5 for the major opening of College Football.






If you are looking to wager, here are my picks.





Tulane +15 at Wake Forest


Indiana -10.5 vs Florida International


Tennessee -21 at home facing Appalachian State


South Carolina +5 at Vanderbilt


Oregon State +12.5 @ Minnesota




Where to Watch Week 1 – College Football


It’s time to get the your recliner in the correct spot, a table for snacks nearby and the remote sitting next to you as College Football begins this week. Instead of fumbling around looking for games, here is a handy guide for Week #1.






Thursday, September 1

Charlotte at No. 19 Louisville, 7 p.m., ESPN3

Appalachian State at No. 9 Tennessee, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network


Friday, September 2

Furman at No. 12 MIchigan State, 7 p.m., BTN

Northwestern State at No. 23 Baylor, 7:30 p.m., TBD

Kansas State at No. 8 Stanford, 9 p.m., FS1


Saturday, September 3

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 Houston, 12 p.m., ABC

Bowling Green at No. 6 Ohio State, 12 p.m., BTN

Hawaii at No. 7 Michigan, 12 p.m., ESPN

Rutgers at No. 14 Washington, 2 p.m., PAC12

No. 16 UCLA at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m., CBS

No. 5 LSU vs. Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Miami (Ohio) at No. 17 Iowa, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU

Southeastern Louisiana at No. 21 Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., TBD

UC Davis at No. 24 Oregon, 5 p.m., PAC12

No. 18 Georgia vs. No. 22 North Carolina, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

UMass at No. 25 Florida, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network

No. 20 USC vs. No. 1 Alabama, 8 p.m., ABC

South Dakota State at No. 13 TCU, 8 p.m., TBD

No. 2 Clemson at Auburn, 9 p.m., ESPN


Sunday, September 4

No. 10 Notre Dame at Texas, 7:30 p.m., ABC


Monday, September 5

No. 11 Ole Miss vs. No. 4 Florida State, 8 p.m., ESPN