4 Staff Picks this June

Here are the books, music and events you won’t want to miss.

Out Now

Springfield author and historian Rich Westcott’s business is baseball, and his latest, Biz Mackey, a Giant Behind the Plate: The Story of the Negro League Star and Hall of Fame Catcher (Temple University Press, 180 pages), celebrates maybe the game’s greatest catcher, and along with it the business of segregated black baseball in Philadelphia and the legendary Delaware County franchise, the Hilldale Daises. Later mentoring Roy Campanella and playing a role in the development of baseball in Japan, Mackey spent a third of his 25-year career in Philadelphia, winning Eastern Colored League championships and a Colored World Series in the 1920s with Hillsdale and the 1934 Negro League National League title with the Philadelphia Stars.

The 20th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn returns June 2-8. Photo courtesy of Schuylkill River NHA.

June 2-8

Ever thought about embarking on a seven-day paddle via kayak? That’s the ultimate goal of the hardcore contingent at the 20th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn, which traverses 112 miles of river. Last year, only 70 of the 221 participants made the entire trek, so feel free to take a more leisurely float.

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Visit schuylkillriver.org.

June 9

Joan Osborne is perhaps best known for her Grammy-nominated 1995 hit, “What If God Was One of Us” (written by the Hooters’ Eric Bazilian). But she’s also a formidable belter who can put her soulful stamp on just about anything she sings—even the Bob Dylan classics she tackles on her latest release. Osborne and her band headline this year’s Wayne Music Festival on June 9.

Visit waynemusicfestival.com

Out Now

If God gave you a second chance at life, what would you do with it? And why aren’t you doing that right now? Kennett Square’s Danny Bader loves asking questions like that—because he answered them himself. In 1992, Bader had a near-death experience when 10,000 volts of electricity passed through his body during a construction accident. Bader survived, but his friend, a father of three young children, did not. Bader channeled his grief into positivity. He married his longtime girlfriend, created a family and launched himself into motivational speaking and writing. Bader’s Back From Heaven’s Porch: Five Principles to Create a Happy and Fulfilling Life, became a bestseller on Amazon’s self-help list. His new book, I Met Jesus for a Miller Lite (jckrbbt consulting, 206 pages), follows a man struggling with life’s challenges.

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!