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Bottom of the 33rd LP: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball's Longest Game Paperback – Bargain Price, May 3, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Dan Barry has crafted a loving and lyrical tribute to a time and a place when you stayed until the final out...because that’s what we did in America. Bottom of the 33rd is chaw-chewing, sunflower-spitting, pine tar proof that too much baseball is never enough. (Jane Leavy )
“What a book -- an exquisite exercise in story-telling, democracy and myth-making that has, at its center, a great respect for the symphony of voices that make up America.” (Colum McCann )
“Dan’s Barry’s meticulous reporting and literary talent are both evident in Bottom of the 33rd, a pitch-perfect and seamless meditation on baseball and the human condition.” (Gay Talese )
“A fascinating, beautifully told story... In the hands of Barry, a national correspondent for the New York Times, this marathon of duty, loyalty, misery and folly becomes a riveting narrative...The book feels like ‘Our Town’ on the diamond.” (Los Angeles Times )
“An astonishing tale that lyrically articulates baseball’s inexorable grip on its players and fans, Bottom of the 33rd belongs among the best baseball books ever written.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer )
“Meticulously researched and tremendously entertaining!” (Columbus Dispatch )
“[Dan] Barry does more than simply recount the inning-by-inning-by-inning box score. He delves beneath the surface, like an archaeologist piecing together the shards and fragments of a forgotten society, to reconstruct a time and a night that have become part of baseball lore.” (Associated Press )
“Whether you’re a baseball aficionado or a reader who just enjoys a good yarn, you’ll love this book.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune )
“A worthy companion to Roger Kahn’s classic Boys of Summer ...[Dan Barry] exploits the power of memory and nostalgia with literary grace and journalistic exactitude. He blends a vivid, moment-by-moment re-creation of the game with what happens to its participants in the next 30 years.” (Stefan Fatsis, New York Times )
“Brilliantly rendered...The book is both a fount of luxurious writing and a tour-de-force of reportage.” (Washington Post )
“[An] heroic conjuring of the past.” (New York Times Book Review )
“[A] masterpiece...destined for the Hall of Fame of baseball books.” (Publisher's Weekly )
Top Customer Reviews
As a baseball fan who never made it past little league I envy those who get paid to play professional ball at any level. Yet for many at the game playing Triple A ball is bittersweet because the players are so close to their dream and for most they will always be one stop short of playing major league ball. For many Triple A is the place where "sweet romance meets bitter reality."
While Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken went on to greatness and a number of other players like Bobby Ojeda, Bruce Hurst and Rich Gedman had good careers, most of the players in this game never made it to the majors. Some were on the rise and hit their peak and others were on the way down and just trying to stay in the game. It is their stories that make this book so successful.
Yet, Dan Barry also talks about the game itself. This is another great thing about this book. Baseball is the amazing game that it is because it has no time limits. There are no clocks. Three outs are the only limits to an inning. A scheduled nine inning game will last until the bottom of the 33rd if that is what it takes to have a winner, even if the game has to be started again on another day.
Dan Barry does a good job of talking about the lives of these players, as well as the lives of the coaches, bat boys and team owners, in the context of the 33 inning game. He manages to talk about those involved in the game while at the same time talking about baseball itself.
Author and New York Times columnist Dan Barry uses this game to analyze life in the minor leagues. He shows a good eye for the rituals of the game telling the story of how the mud used to rub baseballs was first found by Slats Blackburne on the shore of a South Jersey Creek. Barry describes the sometimes jury-rigged style that characterizes the game played at this level. The ball park for the Pawtucket Red Sox is owned and maintained by the city and is used to store sand and salt in the winter, a practice that is not employed at Fenway. He also probes the history of this Rhode Island city which includes a strong dose of machine politics, a ballpark into which cement trucks disappeared during its construction and a Pulitzer Prize winning poet.
But above all, the book is about the thin line that separates the near poverty and virtual anonymity of minor league life from the exalted status of the 12,000 men who have played in the Show. We see Cal Ripken Jr destined for greatness from his first day and Wade Boggs who seemed to be consigned to Triple A status for life until Carney Lansford was injured late in the year and there was no one else available to bring up.Read more ›
This is not a mere pitch-by-pitch recount of the game. Mr. Barry has the ability to see outside the chalk lines to bring our attention to certain themes that add character and dimension to the story. Mr. Barry writes about the players, managers and families who struggle mightily to achieve their dreams, documenting their sacrifices as they achieve fleeting moments of success or, in a few rare cases, major league immortality. Among the dozens of character sketches, the bittersweet profile of the game's hero, Dave Koza is particularly praiseworthy for its profound insight and sensitivity.
Importantly, Mr. Barry draws interest from elements of the story that might be easily overlooked. Mr. Barry paints a portrait of the hardscrabble industrial town of Pawtucket, Rhode Island whose elders took great pride in building the minor league ballpark whose peculiarities would contribute to the game's drama. Mr. Barry finds spiritual meaning as the players struggle for their baseball lives in the early hours of Easter morning. The author also has a penchant for unearthing the kind of detail that adds enormously to the story's appeal: the shivering radio broadcasters who wouldn't quit; the ejected manager who kept his eye on the game through a secret peephole in the fence; the angry wife who couldn't believe her husband was still playing ball; and much, much more.
I highly recommend this outstanding book to everyone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow! I really enjoyed this book. I'm not a die-hard baseball fan but I do love the game and I do prefer to attend AAA games. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Mr. Wizard
Completely enjoyable, will definitely read again and then maybe a third time.Published 8 days ago by Michael Campbell
Interesting story of players in the minor leagues, their struggles to progress and the paths of major league players to be.Published 8 days ago by dictionary of English language
Excellent fun, fact book. Good reading with lots of interesting details about the players.Published 8 days ago by Mike McCarty
Amazing rendition of the "game behind the game," with in-depth explorations of the players, managers, owners and hangers-on.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
It was easy to identify with the people Dan Barry describes throughout his book, although the superb writing certainly pulls the readers into the story and urges us to continue... Read morePublished 27 days ago by DeeArr1
Found it a bit slow going and drawn out at times. Still, as a bit of a baseball fan, I am glad I read it.Published 4 months ago by Mark W. Easter
What an incredible book. A book about baseball the way Moby Dick is a book about fishing. I have read it at least 5 times and continue to get something new out of it each time. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D. I. Kleban
I'm not even a "baseball person," but I found the book fascinating. The writing was superb.Published 5 months ago by KAM LISLE