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Jeff Polman
Jeff Polman is a baseball journalist, screenwriter, and author of three baseball replay novels, "1924 and You Are There!" "Ball Nuts" and the upcoming "Mystery Ball '58." He lives in Culver City, CA.

Entries by Jeff Polman

Am I Loving "Fargo"? Oh, You Betcha!

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2015 | 3:48 PM

I've never been a huge Coen Brothers fan. I find some of their movies very entertaining, others complete misfires, and all of them seemingly wearing their writer-direction on their sleeve. Often, they have a beautifully filmed quality but overwrought characters and a...

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Books for Baseball's Indian Summer

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 4:48 PM

Baseball books tend to come out in March or April, along with returning Eastern meadowlarks, daffodils, and the sweet smell of spring training. Quite often, though, I don't get a chance to read new ones until late summer or early autumn -- when the specter of four baseball-deprived months appears...

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Notes from a Magical Mystery Book Tour

(1) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 7:31 PM


Right before I left for Fresno, Krista's e-mail arrived. I knew I was in trouble.

"The program will be in the Police Station conference room, which is right next door to the library... I hope we get a good turn out!


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How I Learned to Stop Whining and Love Kimmy Schmidt

(1) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 3:28 PM


It helps to give almost anything time. A book. A relationship. A slow-cooked rump roast. And it's often true for a TV series like The Wire, which takes about six hours before you realize you're watching a modern-day version of Charles Dickens' Bleak...

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An Open, True Blue Letter to Vin Scully

(11) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 10:57 AM

Dear Vin,

I'm originally from New England, but have been following the Dodgers and attending their games since I moved out here in 1982. I have always had the utmost respect and appreciation for what you do, and it will be a sad day in this land when you finally...

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The Boys are Alright

(10) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 11:02 AM


I have a guilty pleasure. Yes, I feel really guilty about it, and it's really pleasurable. I'm also late to the party by about 14 years, so I'll apologize for that in advance.

Six months ago, a friend at a book reading told...

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In Praise of Timeless Bears

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 4:34 PM

One of the greatest baseball movies and American comedies of all time has been largely laying low in tall outfield grass for 38 years. Despite its commercial success, The Bad News Bears is rarely mentioned on critics' lists of classic movies.

It's high...

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Two Thumbs Down on Air Nonsense

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 2:45 PM

Face it: No one likes to sit through a dull but necessary airline safety video. Your plane's about to depart and it's already been an ordeal getting to the airport, getting through security checkpoints, getting onto the plane, getting your bulging carry-on bag wedged into the overhead compartment and climbing...

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Being Christy Mathewson

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 11:50 AM

Catching Up With Eddie Frierson After a Thousand One-Man Shows


It's a cold and drizzly night in L.A., and I have to meet Christy Mathewson at the Coffee Bean in 10 minutes. I mean, I know it isn't really him -- Matty, Big...

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Breaking Brilliant: Notes From the 'Bad' Writers' Room

(6) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 2:21 PM


The tweets have ended. The message boards and chat rooms have closed down. The water coolers are less crowded. And now I'm free to step back, examine and comment on the utter marvel of television art that was Breaking Bad.


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On SABR, Strikers and Deep Research

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 6:04 PM

Ryan "Hurleigh" Burley, a few dollops of mustache sweat gleaming beneath his floppy, 1860s Philadelphia Athletic cap, paused before arcing his next underhand pitch to the formidable Harrisburg Keystone striker. The soft, hard-shell sized vintage baseball made a loud WHUMP sound and soared into the blustery Philadelphia sky. Two hairy-faced...

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My Daily Old West Vacation

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 12:33 PM

Got home from work after a long day last week. Dropped my wallet and car keys by the front door, went down the hall and took off my shoes. Poured myself a cold drink, went into the TV room.

Five minutes later I was getting off my bed in...

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42: You Saw the Movie, Now Read the Book

(2) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 8:52 AM

I'm thrilled that 42 is smashing baseball movie box office records like so many weak sliders, and seems poised to bypass Moneyball soon as the all-time champ. If anything, it may help pave the way for more (and better) baseball films, a genre decidedly lacking in unforgettable classics. This isn't...

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Paste-Up Days at the Old Phoenix

(1) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 4:19 PM

I learned of the death of the Boston Phoenix on Twitter today. It seemed fitting, coming just a few months after a morbid e-mail exchange I had with Peter Kadzis, one of the Boston alternative weekly paper's final editors. Earlier, I had Googled John Ferguson, a great editor and wonderful...

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Why Dodger Fans Leave Early

(49) Comments | Posted August 30, 2012 | 11:10 AM

Adrian Gonzalez, his new home Dodger whites practically glowing against the brilliant green turf, jogged back to the dugout after clubbing a pitch from Miami's Josh Johnson deep into the right field stands. It was his very first at bat in LA, and only the second pitch he saw. Coming...

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SABR 42: Right on Target

(1) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 2:56 PM

The conventioneer was in his 60s, wearing a ball cap, glasses and trim little white beard. Like me, he was at the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis last week to attend the yearly gathering of SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research. Barry Bengtsson of St. Paul was...

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Veeck -- As in Maverick

(3) Comments | Posted May 22, 2012 | 12:29 PM


Arcadia is a pleasant little town at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, just east of Pasadena. Inside the Arcadia Public Library, around the corner from the main desk and just before the children's section, a host of very rare items are on...

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The Top 25 Baseball Books for Your Desert Island

(10) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 4:01 PM

Baseball lends itself to book form so effortlessly because day and in and year out, the game wears fantastic drama on its sleeve. In the mood for a sprawling Russian novel? Let's go with a history of the Cubs. Fast-paced action thriller? Any book on the 1967 American League race...

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My Hall of Fame Ballot for 2037

(2) Comments | Posted January 6, 2012 | 5:22 PM

Nothing gets the baseball blogosphere more riled up than a good old annual debate over players' Hall of Fame credentials, so to save time down the road, I thought I would jump ahead 25 years. Look for the following piece in the January 2037 issue of Baseball Kindle Digest ...

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Take My Leg, Please!

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 5:11 PM

Having just endured six days in a hospital, I've been moved to write something about how far our medical profession has advanced since the bygone days. Luckily the recent discovery of a long-buried diary of Confederate General John Bell Hood illuminates this for us. Having survived an arm wound battling...

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