Thursday, September 22, 2011

Harrisburg's rich baseball history to be told in 2012 release

For more than a century, City Island has been Harrisburg’s home for baseball. Legendary names to suit up on the capital city’s diamond include Hall of Famers Hughie Jennings, Babe Ruth, and Satchel Paige. Max Patkin, the Clown Prince of Baseball, got his start there in 1946. In more recent times, Vladimir Guerrero, Ryan Zimmerman, and Stephen Strasburg have worn the home team’s colors.

All on the same field.

Hundreds of towns from coast to coast can proudly claim their place in the national pastime’s annals. Harrisburg is the only one whose roots lie in exactly the same soil today as they did in the 1800s. Andrew Linker, the longtime Harrisburg Senators beat writer, is releasing a history of Island Field, told through profiles of the men and women who made their mark there. The book, called One Patch of Grass, is slated for an April 2012 release.

I’ll have more on it as we get closer to the spring. I’ve known Andy Linker for more than 15 years. He covered the Eastern League for Baseball America for a number of seasons, and was gracious enough to read and blurb my upcoming novel, The Greatest Show on Dirt (due out in February 2012). I’ve not seen a galley yet of his book, but I expect it will be both informative and entertaining.

For more details on this project, see Linker’s site at

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