Steve's Latest Book

Mike Donlin was a brash, colorful, and complicated personality. He was the most popular athlete in New York and was a star on the powerful New York Giants teams of 1905 and 1908. Though haunted by tragedy, including the deaths of both of his parents as a boy, Donlin was a charming, engaging, and kind-hearted man who also had successful careers on the stage and in film.

One of the early “bad boys” among professional athletes, Donlin’s temper and combativeness—compounded by alcoholism—led to battles with umpires and fans, numerous suspensions from the game, and even jail time. In 1906, when Donlin married vaudeville actress Mabel Hite, his life changed for the better, and their love story captivated the nation. Donlin left baseball after his sensational comeback for the dramatic 1908 season and joined Mabel on the stage, likely losing a Hall of Fame career. Then in 1912, at the age of twenty-nine, Mabel died of intestinal cancer.

After making a final comeback as a player in 1914, Donlin starred in baseball’s first feature film. He became a drinking buddy of actors John Barrymore and Buster Keaton and married actress Rita Ross. The couple moved to Hollywood, where Donlin became a beloved figure and appeared in roughly one hundred movies, mostly in minor roles. Despite his Hollywood career, Donlin stayed connected to the game he loved and was seeking a coaching job with the Giants when he died of a heart attack in 1933. At the dawn of the celebrity era of sports, Donlin was one of the nation’s first athletes to capture the public’s attention. This biography by Steve Steinberg and Lyle Spatz shows why

Steve Steinberg is a baseball historian and author of Urban Shocker: Silent Hero of Baseball’s Golden Age (Nebraska, 2017), winner of the SABR Baseball Research Award, and The World Series in the Deadball Era. Lyle Spatz is the author of many baseball books and the coauthor (with Steve Steinberg) of The Colonel and Hug: The Partnership that Transformed the New York Yankees (Nebraska, 2015), winner of the SABR Baseball Research Award, and 1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York (Nebraska, 2010), winner of the Seymour Medal.

Save 40% by purchasing direct from Nebraska Press using code 6AS24

Save 40% with code 6AS24 at

For more information on ordering, inclluding international, scan the QR code.
Steve Signature

Welcome to Steve's Website

I'm glad you stopped by This site focuses on my research, writing and publishing, most of which revolve around the history of our National Pastime, the game of Baseball.

As I approached the age of 50, my world turned upside down when my career in retail came to an end. It was then that I discovered my passion for baseball's past, especially the people who took part in it. Within each one of them lies a story of significance and a vital part of the game's memories. My role has been to help rekindle those memories, to bring them back to life.

Steve with Yogi Berra
(l-r), Toni, Mollett (Casey Stengel's grandniece), Dave Kaplan (Director of Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center), Yogi Berra (seated), and Steve Steinberg

Time travel is possible. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Whether you access it from a book, photograph, film, web site, or the Dakota apartments, it can be done. Time and Again. It takes a special mix of believing and suspending belief. The rewards are beyond measure.

In the past few years, I have made acquaintances with people in their 80s and 90s, who remember baseball in the 1920s. New friends, old friends. They are not simply links to the past; they facilitate my travel to that past.

Many of my friends do indeed live in the `teens and 1920s. I visit their world with respect and awe. It is a world of a stick and a ball and a vast expanse of grass. While things around the ballpark have changed beyond belief, the world within has stayed the way it was.

Books, articles, and research projects are taking shape in my mind every day. I hope you stay here a while and see what I see, a timeless world of a perfect game, and the people who took part in it.

Steve Signature Steve's Amazon Author Page