Play Ball! Local Librarian Hits Home Run with New Baseball Bio

Joe Niese tells the story of ‘the greatest player in Brooklyn Dodgers’ history’

Julie Quinn |

Hey batter, batter, hey batter, batter.

Joe Niese, a baseball lover and director of the Chippewa Falls Public Library, recently published his fourth baseball biography, Zack Wheat: The Life of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer. Unlike his other works, which feature baseball players with roots in western Wisconsin, this biography tells the story of “the greatest player in Brooklyn Dodgers’ history,” Niese said.

So, how exactly did Niese piece together his 90,000-word puzzle? “I have a system now,” Niese said. “I gather resources and start doing a real general outline as I read stuff.”

From there, Niese embarked on a research trip to Hamilton, Missouri – Wheat’s hometown. Of course, writing this biography wasn’t all home runs; Niese had to dodge a few curveballs along the way. “There were always moments of self-doubt,” Niese said. “It’s a little different animal not writing about someone local.”

Niese is a baseball superfan himself. “Baseball has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” the author said.

Check out this thrilling biography for your baseball-superfan loved ones at The Local Store and Niese’s website, Or check out his book, and maybe snag an autograph or two, at The Chippewa Falls Public Library.