Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Michael Tackett  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;


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Illinois Connection

Tackett lived in Chicago. While there, he earned his law degree at John Marshall Law School and worked for the Chicago Tribune.

Biographical and Professional Information

Michael Tackett is an award winning journalist and currently serves as the Editor of the Washington Bureau for the New York Times. A journalist for over 30 years, Tackett began his career at the Chicago Tribune as a city desk reporter and Night City editor. While there, he also went on to become a national correspondent and political writer. He also worked as the Managing Editor and Bureau Chief for Bloomberg News and as the National Editor for the US News & World Report.

A native of Anderson Indiana, he attended Indiana University at Bloomington where he received a BA in Journalism and Political Science. He earned his JD from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago while working at the Chicago Tribune. He moved to Washington, DC in 1992.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Baseball Whisperer: A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams
ISBN: 0544387643

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2016

From an award-winning journalist, a real Field of Dreams story about a legendary coach and the professional-caliber baseball program he built in America's heartland, where boys come summer after summer to be molded into ballplayers — and men

Clarinda, Iowa, population 5,000, sits two hours from anything. There, between the corn fields and hog yards, is a ball field with a bronze bust of a man named Merl Eberly, a baseball whisperer who specialized in second chances and lost causes. The statue was a gift from one of Merl’s original long-shot projects, a skinny kid from the ghetto in Los Angeles who would one day become a beloved Hall-of-Fame shortstop: Ozzie Smith.

The Baseball Whisperer traces the remarkable story of Merl Eberly and his Clarinda A’s baseball team, which he tended over the course of five decades, transforming them from a town team to a collegiate summer league powerhouse. Along with Ozzie Smith, future manager Bud Black, and star player Von Hayes, Merl developed scores of major league players (six of which are currently playing). In the process, Merl taught them to be men, insisting on hard work, integrity, and responsibility.

More than a book about ballplayers who landed in the nation's agricultural heartland, The Baseball Whisperer is the story of a coach who puts character and dedication first, and reminds us of the best, purest form of baseball excellence.


The Baseball Whisperer

  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2018
  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • Other Awards

  • White House Correspondents Association Award for National Reporting for a series he wrote on the influence of lobbyists on politics.

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)