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Book giveaway contest, Day 1

The book is "The First Fall Classic," a highly enjoyable accounting of the 1912 World Series by New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro.

Vaccaro, a friend of mine, excels at writing history, and here, he fully dives into the era, providing us not only tales of folks like John McGraw, Christy Matthewson, Tris Speaker and Smokey Joe Wood but also a taste of what the fans and media were like at that time. And the author steps outside of the ballparks to also document the three-way Presidential election and the infamous Charles Becker trial.

But wait! There's more! In going into such deep details, Vaccaro displays how ubiquitous gamblers were at the time. And how tied in players and other uniformed baseball folk were to those gamblers. We have the Black Sox Scandal out there, but that doesn't preclude the possibility that other games of that time were fixed.

The Steroid Era stinks. We wish it never happened. But it certainly isn't the first time in the game's history when fans should've been questioning what they were seeing. As you can remind yourself if you read this book.

And now, you can win the book - I'll give out one today, and one tomorrow. No repeat winners, please; I'd write, "That means you, Dennis," but I think the government must have tracked down Dennis, or something. You still out there, Dennis?

The first person to e-mail me at kdavidoff@newsday.com, with the correct answer to this question, gets today's book:

Christy Matthewson, the Giants' ace in 1912,finished his career with 373 wins, tied for third all-time, and 2,502 strikeouts, 29th all-time - a reflection of how the game has changed. Name the three pitchers who 1) pitched in a major-league game in 2009 and 2) stand ahead of Matthewson on the all-time strikeout list.

UPDATE, 2:53 p.m.: We have a winner! NaOH knew that Randy Johnson (4,875), Pedro Martinez (3,154) and John Smoltz (3,084) all have more Ks than Matthewson.

Stop by tomorrow for another shot. Except you, NaOH.


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