July 21, 2007

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I made a little book on baseball in my hometown of Marysville, population: 9,000. I found out we had a history going back more than a hundred years. Sports writer Dwight Chapin of the San Francisco Chronicle writes: Bucolic baseball: Every so often in this business, you stumble onto an unexpected treasure. Such is the case with “the Local Nine,” an oversized paperback book that photographer Michael Jang produced as a paean to little-known baseball history in Marysville (Yuba County), where he grew up. The names and faces that are featured will be unfamiliar to most people, but that won’t matter to anyone who loves the sport. The early portions of the book are filled with Anywhere, America-styled photographs that capture eras and styles as well as individuals ( including barnstormers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jackie Robinson), a metaphor for the lasting impact baseball has had on towns and small cities around the country. The latter pages contain a body of stunning work by the highly skilled Jang on more modern incarnations of the sport in the Marysville-Yuba City area. The book definitely rates as a collector’s item.

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