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SLCL and the St. Louis Cardinals present Baseball Historian Tim Wendel

Press Release

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 10:00a.m.


The St. Louis County Library Foundation and the St. Louis Cardinals are pleased to present baseball historian Tim Wendel for a discussion and signing of his book “Summer of ’68: The Season that Changed Baseball and America Forever” on Thursday, May 17, at 7:00 p.m. at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd. The program is free and open to the public.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Pudd’nHead Books. The St. Louis Cardinals will provide several sets of baseball tickets and memorabilia for a door prize raffle.

Selected as a Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Sports Title, Tim Wendel’s new book tells the extraordinary story of the 1968 baseball season—when the game was played to perfection even as the country was being pulled apart at the seams

From the beginning, ’68 was a season rocked by national tragedy and sweeping change. Opening Day was postponed and later played in the shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral. That summer, as the pennant races were heating up, the assassination of Robert Kennedy was later followed by rioting at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. But even as tensions boiled over and violence spilled into the streets, something remarkable was happening in major league ballparks across the country.

In “Summer of ’68,” Tim Wendel takes us on a wild ride through a season that saw such legends as Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, Don Drysdale, and Luis Tiant set new standards for excellence on the mound, each chasing perfection against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent years in American history. For some players, baseball would become an insular retreat from the turmoil encircling them that season, but for a select few, including Gibson and the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals, the conflicts of ’68 would spur their performances to incredible heights and set the stage for their own run at history.

In vivid detail, “Summer of ’68” tells the story of this unforgettable season—the last before rule changes and expansion would alter baseball forever—when the country was captivated by the national pastime at the moment it needed the game most.

Tim Wendel’s previous books include “High Heat: The Secret History of the Fastball and the Improbable Search for the Fastest Pitcher of All Time,” an Editor’s Selection by the New York Times Book Review, and the novel “Castro’s Curveball.” He teaches fiction and nonfiction writing at Johns Hopkins University.

Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300 or visit