National Press Club

Authors Discuss New Baseball Books

April 9, 2009 | By Joe Motheral

Paul Dickson, left, and Allen Barra talk to NPC members and baseball fans Tuesday

Paul Dickson, left, and Allen Barra talk to NPC members and baseball fans Tuesday

Photo/Image: Ben Keller

Paul Dickson and Allen Barra formed an entertaining baseball doubleheader Tuesday evening, April 7.

Dickson, a long time NPC member, discussed his book, the third edition of "The Dickson Baseball Dictionary," and Barra, a sportswriter for the Wall Street Journal with his book, "Yogi Berra, Eternal Yankee."

Dickson described the genesis of his dictionary series. The first one came out in 1984 after his son asked, “Why do they call it a bunt?” (You’ll have to buy the book to find out why!) From this first edition with 3,000 entries, it now has 10,000 in which you can learn the origins of "hit and run," and that the word "jazz" originated as a baseball term.

Barra’ s book about the legendary Yogi Berra contains a biographical narrative along with many of Berra’s Yogisms. Allen says, “Berra is the most quoted American since Mark Twain.”

Some of the familiar ones drew laughs from the audience: “You can’t think and hit at the same time.” Or, “When you come to a fork in the road… take it.”

These pearls of wisdom and his having been key in five World Series championships gives Yogi an iconic position in the world of baseball. Finally as Yogi would say, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”