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02/10/2009 2:45 PM ET
A day-by-day account of baseball
Book tracks everything from famous firsts to rule developments
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
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David Nemec was a freshman first baseman and outfielder at Ohio State. He knew pro scouts were in the crowd during a game and he tried to impress them on the road to his Major League dream.

It didn't exactly work out.

"I had a poor arm and warning track power, and that's exactly what one scout wrote about me that day," Nemec says. "I had to make a throw to third and threw it in the dirt. It was an accurate appraisal of me."

The day was "probably somewhere between May 20 or May 25, 1959," says Nemec. "And no, that was not put in the book."

The book is "This Day in Baseball: A Day-by-Day Record of the Events That Shaped the Game" (Taylor Trade Publishing, 336 pages), written by Nemec and Scott Flatow. It's an old-school collection of important events in baseball stretched out over every day of the yearly calendar, and it's been compiled by men with plenty of qualifications when it comes to the history of the game.

Nemec, for example, is a best-selling baseball writer. His book "Great Baseball Feats, Facts, and First" sold over 700,000 copies in various editions. Also, Nemec and Flatow have won 10 national trivia contests sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

Nemec says he and Flatow are good research partners because Nemec specializes in 19th century baseball history and Flatow is a post-expansion expert. The result is a surprising book with information you probably won't find in your typical daily newspaper blurb.

"You have to have Babe Ruth's 60th homer, and you have to have Barry Bonds' 73rd, and readers rightfully expect to find that kind of material when they pick up a book like this," Nemec says. "But once they delve into it a bit, they're hopefully going to say, 'Wow. This is all new to me.'

"We've been culling famous firsts and rule development events that have never appeared anywhere in book form. I'm hoping that readers are going to appreciate it."

Nemec describes himself as a "big Cleveland fan" and says Flatow is a "huge Mets fan," which led to a number of additions to the list of dates.

Baseball Bookshelf

"Although we don't admit to it, the book probably does have more about the Mets and Indians than some other clubs, but both teams are rich sources," Nemec says. "The Indians, in particular, have had a truly bizarre history, so some of it is documented here."

All in all, having "This Day in Baseball" on your coffee table gives you many options. You can look up your birthday and see what happened on that day throughout the years. You can look for those special events such as Ruth's homer or Nolan Ryan's 383rd strikeout in a season.

You also can find information from the Negro Leagues, the Minor Leagues, the Japanese League and even events that happened prior to the creation of Major League Baseball.

Nemec says he and Flatow originally submitted a list of events that was several hundred pages longer than the publisher would allow. The editing process was difficult, but the result is a collection of daily events that's sure to give fans the satisfaction of finding special moments from their memories.

"It's natural that people want to look up significant events that they witnessed in person and see if they're in the book," Nemec says. "I know that I go back into the 1950s as a baseball fan, and a couple things I saw, one game in particular, we had to omit because of space limitations. That was tough."

"But trust me, if you love baseball, you're going to find something in here that you saw with your own eyes, and it'll make you smile. And that's really what it's all about."

Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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