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Books - Recommended Reading

Marty Appel is one of the leading authorities and historians on the New York Yankees and baseball in general.
Here are just a few books by the great Yankees PR man himself, Marty Appel.




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"There are numerous publications about the New York Yankees, but very few that stand out above the rest.  'Pinstripe Empire - The New York Yankees - From Before the Babe to After the Boss' gives an in-depth look into the entire history of the Yankees franchise.  Marty Appel knows how to bring out every element and detail of their entire history and communicate it in a way that captures and holds the reader.  This is a must read for any pure Yankees fan or baseball fan.  It is a unmitigated perspective of a franchise whose history is unmatched by any other sports franchise.  Marty Appel's passion and insight of the Yankees cannot be equated by anyone.  Marty Appel has a way of not just telling a story, but giving the story a personal and privy feeling.  From the introduction of groundskeeper Phil Schenck to traveling secretary Mark Roth to Mel Allen's 'How about that!', Marty Appel reveals the exhaustive story about the New York Yankees.  Any baseball fan can talk about Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle, but few know the story behind the story and all the personnel involved that made these majestic stories come into existence.  'Pinstripe Empire' is the one book that must be on the bookshelf of any Yankees fan and is a must read for those who are passionate about the Yankees and the history of their franchise." - Bradford H. Turnow -

Other great Yankees baseball books that I recommend....


From an award-winning humorist, a touching memoir and manifesto that reveals the deep secrets of fan jinxes, hexes, and charms.  Did you know there is a secret to winning ballgames? It’s not the players, managers, money, or luck. It’s juju, and no one knows it better than Hart Seely. Seely has spent a lifetime practicing the art of juju from his living room. And winning ballgames for the New York Yankees. He paces floors. He yells at defenseless TVs. He rallies the team like Churchill addressing the collective British soul. But what he is really doing is harnessing juju energy to influence the outcome of games. And it works.  In this uproarious, unforgettable fan confessional, Seely shares the basics of juju for the beginner—“Setting the Table,” asking for a called strike instead of a walk-off homer—to advanced juju—“Bringing the Neg,” predicting bad events to keep them from actually happening—to the deepest, darkest formulas of this age-old art. Along the way readers come to know Hart and his hilarious band of fellow juju practitioners, a secret club of friends whose fandom bonds them across decades, not to mention won/loss columns.  Nostalgic, heartwarming, and laugh-out-loud funny, The Juju Rules is a memoir of a life well-lived in service to one’s team that shows how love can be a powerful passion in the best way.

“Hart Seely’s use of ‘juju rules’ in support of the Yankees is not only curious, hilarious, and excessive but also familiar! His ‘off the wall’ tennis ball game (played at home to spur a Yankees rally) was also a backyard passion of my own. Clearly Hart comes to the classic fanatic level, and this chronicle of his life as a devoted fan is entertaining—and universal.” Tony LaRussa, former major league manager.

Credit: Madeline Seely


THE JUJU RULES is a memoir of Hart Seely’s lifelong devotion to the New York Yankees. He may be the world’s biggest Yankees fan, which he says is code for “Whatever you do, don’t bring up the Yankees in his presence.” And yet, one might argue that Seely actually works for the team, something he’s done from his living room couch during ballgames for decades. You see, Hart Seely is a member of a secret club: He is a seasoned practitioner of the ancient art of juju. He harnesses atomic particles from the cosmos—“Rizzutons” as he calls them—to influence the outcome of Yankees games, or innings, or at bats.

From the moment he forsakes his father, a dyed-in-the-wool Yankees hater, and declared his love for New York’s team, Seely was hooked. Despite his father’s tormenting, Seely grew ever more obsessed and found he could help guide Roger Maris to home plate by going outside during a game and flinging balls against the side of the house, one after another. He could will a hit from Mickey Mantle if he sat in his lucky chair at just the right moment. Seely believed that with these rituals he was helping his team to win games; he was sure that he had tapped into something powerful.

And he didn’t stop believing. From attending college in upstate New York to meeting his first Red Sox fan and learning the power of sarcasm; from going home after college to carve out a career in the family newspaper business to trying to find love, one thing remains constant throughout: Seely watches the Yankees.

He works various jobs in print and radio, trying to find his calling. He toils away at his great American novel, which of course is about the Yankees, and he falls in love with a girl named Janice who finally agrees to marry him, even when she learns the true, ugly depths of his obsession. At every juncture his life is tied to what the boys in pinstripes are doing on the field—and his TV screen.



*Or, How to Win Ballgames from Your Couch: A Memoir of a Fan Obsessed

by Hart Seely

On sale: April 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-62237-8 ·$25 hardcover

Also available as an ebook

Over the course of the book, readers are introduced to the hilarious and universal rules of juju, in chapters that are interspersed throughout the memoir. Along the way they will also come to know and love an absolutely unforgettable group of mismatched friends who form around Seely over the years, all connected by the great Bronx Bombers. They include:


·         College friend Dog Man, who calls after every Yankee event and communicates purely through Bruce Springsteen lyrics. For example, when the Yankees traded pitching hopeful Al Leiter in the late 1980s and Seely is writhing on the floor of living room at the news, Dog Man calls to say “Bar eyes shine vacancy.”


·         Alphonso, the master of bringing the neg, which is the practice of reverse Rizzutonian juju whereby you always expect the worst for your team in hopes of actually getting the best.


·         Bonfatti, a Meatloaf lookalike who roots for the Red Sox and torments Seely but who makes a fatal juju mistake. He throws a victory party for the 1986 Red Sox/Mets game and it ends with the ball dribbling through Buckner’s legs. Lesson learned: Never throw a victory party before a victory!


·         Old man Bill Glavin, who calls after every Yankees loss or trade, to say to Seely, “What were you and George thinking making that trade?” He believes every Yankees fan is a personal lackey to the dreaded George Steinbrenner.


·         Tom Peyer, a political cartoonist who confesses to Seely that he grew up in a Yankees household but knows nothing about baseball, and so he asks Seely to teach him how to be a Yankees fan, a task Seely takes on with great seriousness. He assigns reading and coursework and tutors him on all things Yankees. Only it’s during an abysmal time in Yankees history: from 1986–92 a time Hart calls the 7-year barf.


They all practice juju. They all live for baseball. It measures the key moments, events and memories of their lives. Part buddy book, part love story, and part juju primer, THE JUJU RULES is a heartfelt memoir of a life well lived—sweet, poignant, nostalgic, and full of wonderfully wry humor and self-deprecating asides.


About the Author

Hart Seely is an award-winning reporter for the Post-Standard in Syracuse and a popular humorist. His pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, National Lampoon, and Slate. He is the co-editor of O Holy Cow!: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto, and he wins Yankee games from his living room.

In November 1934 as the United States and Japan drifted toward war, a team of American League all-stars that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, future secret agent Moe Berg, and Connie Mack barnstormed across the Land of the Rising Sun. Hundreds of thousands of fans, many waving Japanese and American flags, welcomed the team with shouts of Banzai! Banzai Babe Ruth! The all-stars stayed for a month, playing 18 games, spawning professional baseball in Japan, and spreading goodwill.  Politicians on both sides of the Pacific hoped that the amity generated by the tour and the two nations shared love of the game could help heal their growing political differences. But the Babe and baseball could not overcome Japan s growing nationalism, as a bloody coup d état by young army officers and an assassination attempt by the ultranationalist War Gods Society jeopardized the tour s success. A tale of international intrigue, espionage, attempted murder, and, of course, baseball, Banzai Babe Ruth is the first detailed account of the doomed attempt to reconcile the United States and Japan through the 1934 All American baseball tour. Robert K. Fitts provides a wonderful story about baseball, nationalism, and American and Japanese cultural history.

Harvey Frommer is another great Yankees historian and writer about the great sport of baseball.


Below are other recommended readings for Yankees fans.  Feedback is always welcome!



George (Snuffy) Stirnweiss is one of those N.Y. Yankees whose name is lost beside the immortals: Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra, et al.  Yet he led the Yankees into the World Series three times and had a year, 1945 which is unmatched by any other Yankee including the aforementioned immortals.  That year he led the American League in: at bats, batting average, on-base %, at bats hits, total bases, triples, stolen bases, & extra-base hits, and he and teammate Phil Rizzuto led the league in double plays while George had a .970% fielding average..  Yet his name is virtually forgotten by the Yankee organization and is mostly unknown by millions of Yankee fans.  George was killed in a tragic train wreck in 1958, but he has left behind a large family (6 children, 13 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren) who need to learn more about him.  The biography tells Snuffy’s story from Prep School through college and his career with the New York Yankees.  There is also a chapter which details the story of his tragic death on that train wreck about which there is so much conflicting information.

To help keep his name alive for all these people, a long-time fan (60+years) PATRICK MACKIN has written Snuffy’s biography.  Mr. Mackin is donating all of his proceeds from the sale of this book to a scholarship at Fordham Prep in NYC where George went to school.  Although the book is not yet being published, a “pre-publication” copy is available at cost + shipping from Mr. Mackin. Write to him at: for further information.

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