Humphrey Bogart once said, “A hot dog at the ballpark is better than steak at the Ritz." Bogey knew that the game of baseball was special. It's a game in which the more you know about it, the more enjoyment you receive. It's played at all age levels and provides a distraction from the stress and the daily grind for all people, young or old, rich or poor, any race, creed or color. The pace of the game provides us with time to talk, think, reflect and plan. The game's special sounds and smells are unforgettable. The colors of the game and the vastness of its playing fields are overwhelming. Passion and anticipation ooze from the field during game time. The game also transcends time. The game my grandfather witnessed is the same game that my grandson and I enjoy today. It's a fair game with no clock that enables each team to receive the same number of chances to win. It's played by all sizes, short, tall, heavy or thin. The only requirements are the ability to think, quick reflexes, foot speed, a strong accurate arm and tremendous hand-to-eye coordination. It's a game with history that allows us to compare every new player to the 16,000 who came before him. It's also the game that looks the easiest to play from your seat but is in fact the hardest of them all. Many people believe that baseball returned as the National Pastime in 1998, thanks to an offensive explosion that rewrote the record books and again reached back and connected the past with the present. The names of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Roger Maris and Hack Wilson returned with ease to the sports pages, as if they had never left, only to be joined by Sammy Sosa, Cal Ripken, Jr., Mark McGwire and Juan Gonzalez. If the game did indeed return to the masses in 1998, then it's safe to say that baseball put down roots in 1999 and returned for good to the sports scene, front and center. The year after 70 home runs was equally impressive. More hitting and pitching records were posted and money was handed out at an all-time high, with Kevin Brown becoming the first one-hundred-million-dollar player. Managers changed, players moved, and the new team in Arizona introduced itself to play-off baseball. Cancer and major injuries to star players and managers altered many rosters during the year, but the game pushed on. Off the field Pete Rose and the umpires dominated the baseball news throughout the year, along with the passing of many great players. Four of baseball’s greatest playgrounds closed at the end of this year, and the fans participated in honoring some of the greatest players of the twentieth century. Latin players dominated play and the awards for excellence. Teams changed uniforms and colors, while the shift returned as a defensive option to stop the game's best hitters. 1999 also ushered in arguably the greatest Hall-of Fame class since its first induction class of 1936. Turnstiles clicked at a record pace, as our game continued to move towards a worldly contest. America's teams played in Mexico, while welcoming the Cuban National Team to Baltimore. With the exception of the American League Central, division races again became a hot topic in the sports page, and the good old fashioned baseball fight returned to the game. Players from the catching position made the highlight reels throughout the year, while their battery mates tried to reclaim the inside part of home plate. All and all, it was a terrific season. So why this book? That’s' easy! I love to write, and I'm passionate about the game of baseball. I have opinions, right or wrong, and enjoy the history of the game. This is my second book on baseball; it's filled with thirty-two weeks of records, highlights, statistics, illustrations and humor. Also included are two poems that I wrote, along with a commentary by Ernie Harwell and perhaps the greatest baseball poem ever written. You might say that this book serves as a weekly diary of the 1999 Major League Baseball Season. Don't misunderstand; baseball is not perfect but the game will never die. It is truly the game of the masses. It's appeal; is never-ending and I agree with Babe Ruth that it is perhaps the only real game. I have chosen the title Buy Me Some Peanuts... for all the reasons above. I hope you find the reading as enjoyable as I did the writing. Available for purchase locally at Beamer's or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 361 549 1619. Thanks! Own a copy of the 1999 baseball season.