Former ABC30 television sports anchor Dan Taylor has written a biography with George Genovese, the legendary scout who spent 70 years in baseball with the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Florida Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers. He covered Southern California for the Giants from 1964 through 1995. The book is one of several new books by local authors, or of local interest, available in stores or online.
“A Scout’s Report: My 70 Years in Baseball” (McFarland and Company, $29.95) deals with the golden years of scouting before the start of the Major League Baseball draft in 1965 until the present time. Genovese spent 16 years playing professional baseball before developing a system for evaluating players that made him a top scout.
Players signed by Genovese over the years include Bobby Bonds, George Foster, Garry Maddox, Gary Matthews, Dave Kingman, Jack Clark, Chili Davis, Matt Williams and Royce Clayton. In the forward, Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda wrote,” I strongly believe scouts deserve a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and if ever a scout deserved that recognition in Cooperstown, it’s George Genovese.”
Taylor met Genovese in 2006 through his longtime friend John Van Ornum. Ornum managed the Fresno Giants from 1974-1977.
Once Genovese agreed to allow Taylor to write the book, Taylor spend the next three years doing interviews.
“I would make the drive once a month to North Hollywood where George lives and spend a day or two with him,” Taylor says. We also talked by phone once or twice a week. Not only did this involve countless hours of interviews with George but with dozens of the players he signed and managed, fellow scouts, managers and friends.”
This is not the first book by Taylor. After he left his job at ABC30 in 2008, he wrote “The Rise of the Bulldogs: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Upsets of All Time” (HarperOne, $25.99). It chronicles Fresno State’s run to the NCAA college baseball championship.
Taylor had worked at the local ABC station since 1984.
Look for his new book at Amazon and barnesandnoble.com. Or, there will be a signing at Barnes & Noble, 7849 N. Blackstone Ave. from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, July 11. Genovese will be reunited with three players he managed when he was in charge of the Giants farm team in El Paso in 1963. Arlo Engle, Vic Roznovsky and Jack Blehm live in Fresno.
War and remembrance
Fresno State graduate Jerry L. Mitchell has written “In the Shadow of Wrath/A Veteran’s Journey” (iUniverse, $18.95). It’s the story of a poor farm labor family who made a difficult decision in 1937 to escape the drought and disaster of the Dust Bowl. Upon migrating from the Oklahoma Territory, family ties were severed and never reconnected.
Mitchell, a Phoenix native, entered the military after junior college and was shipped to Vietnam. Following his military service, Mitchell settled in Fresno and graduated from Fresno State in 1974. He worked security at Fresno IRS Center and at Fresno County Sheriff’s Dept.
“Fresno has inspired me to write about my early experiences and continues to revive my memories of a fun and good time, as well as my journey after I had to leave. Fresno has been ‘The All American City’ to me for which I will be forever grateful for,’ Mitchell says.
Steve Natoli, professor of history at College of the Sequoias, was inspired to write “Liberally Speaking: Why Liberalism is Right for America” (Branden Books, $19.95) after walking into a Barnes and Noble bookstore and finding a large selection of books based on conservative thinking.
“As a progressive, I felt there ought to be some balance in the form of a well-researched, intelligently-written, yet accessible work that presents a valid picture of the liberal perspective,” Natoli says. “‘Liberally Speaking’ explains what it means to be a liberal, where liberal ideas come from and where liberals stand on the issues.
“I’m a former conservative who was won over by liberalism’s moral and ethical basis and its historically demonstrated effectiveness in making the nation freer and more prosperous.”
The book took Natoli two years to write. It is available at Amazon.
Other books of local interest:
“My Back Pages” (Black Rose Writing, $15.95): O’Brien Browne, who was born and raised on the California Central Coast, has written a book about a Central California family’s summer of change.
The story unfolds against the backdrop of the assassination of Robert Kennedy, student riots and fighting in Vietnam. A young man’s world is shattered as he deals with racism and family issues.
The book is available on Amazon.
“The Lost Prophet” (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $12.99): Fresno native James B. McPike has written a sequel to his award-winning “Realm of the Unknown.” The follow-up book is the story of a prolific investigator who’s called on when one of the Holy Land’s most sacred monuments is destroyed.
His first book won the “2012 Readers Favorite silver medal for Christian/Fantasy” and was nominated for the 17th EVVY Awards.
“The Lost Prophet” is available on Amazon.
“Tuolumne in Pictures” (Yosemite Conservancy, $8.95): Photographer Ryan Alonzo takes a look at the area located in the eastern section of Yosemite National Park.
“Valley Fever” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26): The latest novel from Katherine Taylor looks at a young woman’s struggles to find happiness and place to call home in Fresno.