Craig Calcaterra

Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game

Craig Calcaterra is the writer and editor of the daily baseball, news, and culture newsletter, Cup of Coffee. Previously, he was the lead national baseball writer for NBC Sports, where he launched and edited the baseball blog HardballTalk. Calcaterra’s work has appeared on NPR, Bloomberg News, the BBC, and ESPN. He lives in New Albany, Ohio.

Why I Love Belt
Belt Publishing is all substance, no bullshit. This place publishes interesting books by interesting writers, some of which would never see the light of day at a major press because they may not check off a number of superficial, commercially-oriented boxes. All of them, however, match the substantive quality of the best things you've read, and deliver it with each writer's unique voice and perspective intact. It's shocking how much better and varied books turn out to be when the writers can focus on the writing instead of the sort of baloney Big Publishing thinks is so important but really isn't.

Recommended Titles
Clutter: An Untidy History by Jennifer Howard: I've always, personally, felt better when I threw things out, kept things tidy, and did my best to live as minimalist a lifestyle as I could. Sometimes that seems like a smug and somewhat selfish stance, and that's before one considers how much my constant decluttering and purging pisses off my parents, wife, and kids. Howard has given me permission to keep doing that, though. What's more, she makes the case that I'm making society better by doing it. I'm no less smug about it these days, but thanks to her book, I'm righteously smug.

What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte: I've made it my personal mission to take the piss out of a certain allegedly hillbilly author who has achieved an ungodly and unearned amount of fame. I do it with bile and spite, though, and that can only go so far. Catte manages it while serving a higher goal—education, story telling, illumination—and does it with a coherence most of us who bash the elegies of others tend to lack. We need smart, compelling writers like her to move this ball forward because the rest of us tend to lose the plot as we rant and rave. She does a hell of a job moving it forward.

How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass by Aaron Foley: I've never lived in Detroit but it was my parents' hometown and the home of both sides of my family before that going back more than 120 years. As such, I have a simultaneous connection to and alienation from Detroit that makes me want to know it better and makes me want to know it in a way some gentrifier from New York who only sees cheap real estate and comes in armed with only their savior complex does not. I've figured out about 20% of what I need to know about Detroit from my parents. The other 80% came from Foley. Given that my parents' portion mostly covers the 40s through the 70s, though, I should probably give Foley credit for more like 90%.

Where to Find Me
On Twitter @craigcalcaterra
Cup of Coffee newsletter
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