Toby Smith, former Albuquerque Journal reporter and current UNM instructor in Communication & Journalism, brings to life the forgotten period of minor league baseball history in New Mexico and West Texas in his new book, Bush League Boys, a UNM Press publication. Smith presents book talks and signings on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. at Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW; and on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. at Treasure House Books & Gifts, 2012 S. Plaza NW. 

Smtih uses oral histories of players, umpires, fans, sportswriters and team officials to resurrect the West Texas-New Mexico League, Longhorn League, Southwestern League and Sophomore League from 1946 to 1961, when the last of them folded. Star players Joe Bauman and Bob Crues get special attention, along with assorted brawls, a fatal beaning incident, home runs and marriages conducted at home plate.

“In Bush League Boys sportswriter Toby Smith relies upon fascinating oral histories to recall the home runs, screen money, and dust storms that characterized the glory days of post–World War II baseball in the Southwest.”—Ron Briley, author of The Baseball Film in Postwar America: A Critical Study, 1948–1962

“I’ve been a fan of Toby Smith’s writing for a long time. Toby hasn’t lost his zest for writing, nor the way he crafts his sentences. He’s not ‘Toby Smith,’ he’s more like ‘Word Smith.’ Reading Toby’s story of old-time baseball is delightful, and I found the book hard to put down, consuming it in a matter of hours.”—Gary Herron, author of Duke City Diamonds: Baseball in Albuquerque

Smith is the author or coauthor of nine books, including Little Gray Men: Roswell and the Rise of a Popular Culture (UNM Press).