Pitchers and catchers don't report to spring training until next month, but Brookline author Larry Ruttman's new book about Jews in baseball is already hitting the printing press.
Ruttman’s book “American Jews and America’s Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball” went to press two weeks ago and will be published at the start of the baseball season on April 1 by the University of Nebraska Press.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has penned the forward for the book, which dives into the experiences of Jewish ball players from Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax and Al Rosen to present day stars Kevin Youkilis and Ryan Braun.
Ruttman also writes about Jewish baseball labor leaders Marvin Miller and Don Fehr, owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Stuart Sternberg, former Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein, sportswriters and Jewish baseball fans, including Alan Dershowitz and Barney Frank.
In preparation for his book to be published, Ruttman, 81, said he’s busy working to set up book-signings and readings to promote the book when it hits the shelves.
“I’d like the book to become popular,” Ruttman said. It’s not money really that interests me, it’s really having worked on something and feeling that it is something of value both sports-wise and culturally and that people want to read it,” he said.
Ruttman interviewed more than 40 Jewish men and women in baseball to get their stories in their own words.
He finished writing the book in 2011 and spent several months editing and putting together the photographs for book, which features a photo of Hank Greenberg on the cover.
The 560-page book is expected to be released on April 1 for $34.95 in hardcover.