9 sports books you may have missed in 2014

Check out these sports titles you may have overlooked earlier this year.

9. 'Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Wooly, World of Sports Mascots,' by AJ Mass

AJ Mass is a New York City native who became the first person to serve as the New York Mets’ mascot, Mr. Met, since the team retired the baseball-headed mascot in the 1960s. Mass served as Mr. Met through the 1997 season.

“The majority of prominent mascots in the world of professional sports come from the world of Major League Baseball. In fact, a 2012 Forbes report on a survey done to determine America’s favorite sports mascots based on ‘awareness, likability, and breakthrough (how easily consumers recognize the mascots’ affiliation to their teams)’ had seven representatives from MLB in the top ten. I’m proud to say that Mr. Met led the pack at No. 1 overall.

“The results are not all that surprising. After all, baseball teams play practically every day over a six-month period and there’s a rotating pool of fans who buy tickets for one or two of a team’s eighty-one home games over the course of a season. Compare that to the NFL, where teams typically play a grand total of ten home games – if you include two preseason dates – and potentially less than that if one of their scheduled home dates is replaced with a trip to London, Mexico City, or Toronto in the league’s constant attempts to internationalize the sport.”

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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