Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The American Game

The All-Star break is next week, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and it's after this midpoint in the season that the pennant races really start to matter. While you're waiting for your team to either break out of it's slump or stretch out it's lead to a few more games, you can bone up on baseball trivia with our newest book.
Splitters, Squeezes, and Steals: the inside story of baseball's greatest techniques, strategies, and plays is by Derek Gentile. If you're not interested in reading an analytical, scholarly work on strategy or a rehash of every move made in a single game in 1957, don't worry. This is pretty light reading, coming off as more of a Sports Illustrated article than a glowing tribute by George Will. Lots of photos, stats, charts & graphs make this book a great choice for parents who want to introduce their kids to the long lineage of the game and their favorite players from their youth. If you're new to the game and want a good grounding in famous names, legendary plays and common tricks of the trade, this book is perfect.
And if you're a true baseball fan, the information in this book will be familiar (although, if you've already memorized all the stats in this book, you're a bit obsessive) but it does make a great conversation starter (did Goose Gossage or Rollie Fingers have the best mustache? Who was a better outfielder - Roberto Clemente or Willie Mays?). This is a nice summer book, and a glossy tribute to the American Game.

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