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Local Authors in Free Program of Baseball Literature

Spring training will have just started for Major League Baseball, but major league authors will be in mid-season form as Middlesex County College hosts “A Night of Baseball Readings & Writings” on March 6. The program will include four local authors discussing baseball and their books. The first pitch is at 6:30 p.m. in the Gallery, on the top floor of the College Center. Refreshments will be served and the public is invited to this free event.

“This is going to be a great evening for baseball fans and for those who are interested in history and sociology,” said Mark Thompson, director of the College library. “We’ve lined up four very accomplished authors who will share their experiences and talk baseball. We will also have a panel discussion, which allows the audience to ask questions and interact with the authors.”

Lawrence Hogan, senior professor of history at Union County College, is one of the nation’s foremost experts on baseball’s Negro Leagues. He is the principal author of “Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball.” Dr. Hogan’s recent talks include the opening for the “History of Black Baseball at Yankee Stadium” and “Pride & Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience,” a traveling exhibit organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. He will speak on “Pride & Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience.”

Bill Morales, the author of “Farewell to the Last Golden Era: The Yankees, the Pirates and the 1960 Baseball Season,” is a professor of history at Bergen Community College. He will speak on the founding of the New York Mets 50 years ago in “Inventing a Tradition: Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges, and the First Year of the New York Mets.”

Gene Racz and Frank Russo have written “Bury My Heart at Cooperstown: Salacious, Sad, and Surreal Deaths in the History of Baseball,” a volume of stories on the many unusual ways the early baseball players died. The two writers investigated and compiled this volume of stories on the bizarre, hard-to-believe, and fascinating ways that some of the early ball players met their end. Mr. Racz is a staff writer of the “Home News Tribune,” and Mr. Russo publishes a website, www.thedeadballera.com.

“This is a very eclectic group of very interesting authors,” Mr. Thompson said. “I think it is going to make for a fascinating night, and also a lot of fun.”