A premier baseball analyst and brand name, James (The Bill James Player Ratings Book, The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers) releases a revised edition of his 1985 classic, with expanded player and team histories and reconsidered commentary. Divided into two sections, "The Game" and "The Players," this comprehensive and opinionated tome describes the evolution of the sport over the decades (uniforms in the 1890s, best minor league teams of the 1930s, the Negro Leagues, etc.) and the characteristics of its players (stats, injuries, habits and proclivities). The thumbnail player sketches in the second section (the 100 greatest players at each position) vary widely in content and tone: the entry on Lefty Gomez includes a page on his public-speaking abilities, while of Kevin Brown, James merely writes, "I don't root for him, either, but he is a great pitcher." (James has assigned the rankings according to a statistical rating formula he calls Win Shares, which he explains conceptually and mathematically.) The game section, though, is the standout. It may not contain detailed statistical leaders or standings for each year, or even who won each World Series, but it does offer information on new stadiums, the competitiveness of different leagues and shifts in the way the game was played. At the end of each chapter, a "decade in a box" lists major statistics and Jamesian awards, varying from the quantitative (the team with the best record) and the qualitative (the best switch hitter) to the quirky (the decade's ugliest player). (Dec.)Forecast: There are enough baseball and Bill James fans to ensure steady sales, and the pub date near enough to the World Series might encourage a few extra readers. A uniquely personal, even iconoclastic guide, this belongs in baseball libraries to counterpoint The Baseball Encyclopedia and Total Baseball.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
True to form, James's new Historical Baseball Abstract is filled with often fascinating and frequently quirky evaluations and insights regarding the history of baseball. Starting with the 1870s, James explores, decade by decade, how and where the game was played and who played it. He discusses nicknames, top minor-league teams, and the most admirable superstars, among other matters. At the close of the initial 13 chapters, the author highlights each ten-year period "in a box," with a player or two tagged as the best-looking, the ugliest, the fastest, the slowest, and so forth. The last half of the book presents James's evaluations of the top 100 or more players at each position. Some are expected, with Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx, for example, deemed the top first basemen. But Hank Greenberg is slotted in only at eighth place, and then James spends most of his time ragging on the great slugger's performance as the Cleveland Indians' general manager from 1949 to 1957. In other instances, the description of a player's on-field antics is melded with curious social commentary. All of this makes for a sometimes illuminating, occasionally exasperating book certain to engender controversy among baseball aficionados. For general libraries. R. C. Cottrell, California State Univ., Chico
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Dated in its arguemnts. We have better tools now. But some of the essays are good.Published 14 days ago by V. Tirumalai
Excellent overview of baseball history from 1871 to 1999, along with dozens of descriptions and anecdotes of more than a thousand players in baseball history. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Caspian88
This is one of my absolute favorite baseball books, a work I return to and refer to again and again and again. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kiwiwriter
I never should have bought this book. For years I heard how terrific it was, but resisted buying it. Now I own it and I keep going back for more! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Still a Phillies Phan
This is the third edition I've but of this great baseball book, but the first one for my kindle. I believe this of book, like the Bible is better when you can thumb back and forth... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Charles Blair
a bit dry....but still great history. book condition was exactly as advertisedPublished 4 months ago by Martin G Mc Grath
If you love baseball this is a must have every-time my friends and I talk about who was the best player or best team this book just adds to the fun. Read morePublished 4 months ago by frank deyoung