Sometimes pictures work better than words, so I’ll start off with this admittedly amateur video clip of me flipping through my new book, 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball:
I apologize again for the low-budget video clip, but I think it gives you an idea of what to expect from my new publication. If you’re still game, what follows is a more in-depth run-down of what the new edition of 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball has to offer.
I spent the past Fall culling through my previously published and unpublished pieces, trying to select the one’s I though best represent what The Infinite Baseball Card Set is all about. I wanted to come out with a book that could show all of what I try to do with my work: combine original illustration with entertaining storytelling and deep research.
So with all that in mind, I compiled 30 different stories into one 168 page book. After much searching and ordering samples, I found the publishing company that was best able to reproduce my art with the quality you’ve come to expect from The Infinite Baseball Card Set. This meant the price per copy is much higher than what I would like, but the thought of putting out a substandard product to squeeze out a little more profit at the expense of quality is something I will not consider. But all that out of the way, let me show you a little more of the book.
I went nuts trying to pick out who the cover star would be, but I ultimately chose Hi Bithorn. I liked the idea of a lesser known name being the cover star, and I also thought my illustration of him about to unleash a fastball that earned him the name “Hurricane Hi” looked pretty dynamic.
As you can see from the table of contents, I tried to choose players and stories from all eras and leagues. One one page you’ll find the story of Wing Maddox, the one-armed batting champ of the Negro Leagues and on the next you can read about Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle’s trying and tumultuous rookie year with the Yankees. Within the pages of 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball I’ll take you from semi-pro teams of Hollywood movie stars to the beginnings of professional baseball in Japan.
Of course with 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball you get my distinctive original artwork reproduced in the best full color printing I could find.
Unlike my Simon & Schuster book, The League of Outsider Baseball, which featured mostly short pieces on the players, the format of 21 allows me to take a deep-dive into my subjects, with stories ranging from concise 3 pages to a feature-length 8 pages. The format I designed is clean and easy to read while still being attractive and inviting.
If you are a subscriber to my Booklet Series, you already know that I have a penchant for including many sidebars of additional information, and this issue of 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball is no exception. Inside you’ll get the scoop on how I track down information on obscure players, see what mementos and tidbits I sometimes receive from the relatives of players I write about, and get an idea of how I go about creating my art.
As you can see, 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball is a pretty substantial book that I believe accurately represents the three principles that set The Infinite Baseball Card Set apart from the rest:
You can pre-order a copy of 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball by going to my store or simply clicking HERE.
Please note that due to supposed “supply chain issues,” production and delivery time has been very fluid. It is my best calculation that books will be mailed out the first week of February, but please be patient if the publisher fails to meet their promised production time. If you order a copy, I’ll be sure to keep you updated on any change in delivery dates. I am pretty sure you’ll find the new 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball is well worth the wait.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Is this a one-off or will there be more?
Actually, this is the second volume of 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball, The first one came out in 2017 and is 64 pages. You can take a look at that one HERE. Nothing is definite, but I would like to produce at least one volume of 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball every year. I would also like to do ones that focus on one subject, such as turning my 1921 Baltimore Orioles series into a full blown book in the same format I use of 21.
Why is it so expensive?
Yeah, I know, believe me. I spent November and December auditioning several publishers to see who puts out the best quality product. Unsurprisingly, it’s a case of “you get what you pay for” – the company that costs the most per book is also the most expensive by far. After a short think on it, I decided to go with quality over price. I felt that I could not sacrifice beautiful color reproduction and binding and still be proud of my work. So yeah, 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball is pricey, but I refuse to put out a substandard product.
Is there a discount for Booklet Series Subscribers?
Heck yeah! I am really thankful to all the subscribers that have made my Booklet Series possible. I realize a subscription each year is a luxury and that money could easily be spent elsewhere. My subscribers support means an awful lot to me, and it is my small way of saying thank you by offering a “Booklet Subscriber’s Price” for a copy of 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball. This special price can be found HERE.
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I’d like to say thank you to the advertisers that helped make the new 21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball possible. Please know that the advertisers in 21 were carefully curated by me, and without exception, are companies whose products and services I personally purchased and/or use. Over the years I have received many generous offers to place ads or sponsored posts on my website. The majority are from gambling sites, “Bro” type sports podcasts and companies whose products seem sketchy at best. While the cash offered is hard to turn down, I have always kept my site ad-free. No amount of money is worth steering my readers towards a disreputable business or a product that I myself do not use. Because I have worked with and bought from the companies that advertised in 21, I feel completely comfortable recommending them to those of you who have followed my work through the years.
SCP AUCTIONS Each SCP auction is a cornucopia of the widest assortment of sports memorabilia imaginable – from Jim Bouton’s Seattle Pilots jersey and Bruce Smith’s 1941 Heisman Trophy to Michael Jordan’s game worn Nike’s and the hobby’s ultimate collectible: the T206 Honus Wagner card. And speaking from personal experience, I can say the guys at SCP are among the most reputable and stand-up people in the auction business. Visit them HERE.
APBA GAMES There’s a reason APBA baseball simulation games have been around since the 1950s – it’s because they are the best. Other baseball simulations have come and gone, but APBA remains. While many play using modern teams, I prefer to try my hand at managing the 1938 Reds, 1921 Yankees or the 1951 Dodgers. For me, no other simulation game is as fun or realistic as APBA baseball. Visit them HERE.
HUNTINGTON BASE BALL CO. Ever wonder what a deadball-era baseball felt like? Or wanted to take a cut with an authentically made 19th century bat? If you have, Huntington Base Ball Company is the place to make your dreams come true. Their bats and balls are pieces of art in themselves and I have several of their hand-made baseballs scattered throughout my studio. And as a designer myself, I have to say their packaging is just absolutely beautiful. Visit them HERE.
TEAM BROWN APPAREL Over the past few years I’ve designed over 100 shirts for Team Brown, ranging from the Negro Leagues to the All-American Girl’s Professional Baseball League. Team Brown puts out a superior product, a fact I know first hand because I own and have gifted many of their shirts through the years – I can’t think of a better show of confidence than that! Visit them HERE.
SUMMER GAME BOOKS The only all-baseball book publisher in existence. Besides owning many of the books Summer Game has published, I have recently begun designing several of their new book covers. Summer Game offers titles you wont find anywhere else alongside reprints of many rare titles previously only accessible in museums and private collections. Visit them HERE.