Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on November 28, 2012
OK, I'll admit it... I'm a sucker for just about anything baseball, so you can take this review with a grain of salt because of that. But I could not put this book down before I got to the last word of the last frame.
I honestly did not realize when I put this on my iPad that it was going to be a graphic narrative; and that isn't a genre I've been much into since the long ago and far away days of Zap Comix number zero (and the better living through chemistry enhancements that went with it). But the drawings in this book were a great way to tell this compelling story. I knew the bare bones of the Carl Mays/Ray Chapman story - Chapman being the single major league player to be killed by a pitch. (Although we know, of course, of others who have been pretty seriously maimed along the way, including the tragic story of Tony C). This book puts flesh on the bones of Mays/Chapman story and tells it in an even-handed way, developing the character of the two main players from childhood, to the minor leagues, to the fateful day that a Mays fastball hit Chapman on the temple with a crack like a ball off a bat and ricocheted back to first base. It then follows Mays and Chapman's widow through the rest of their lives and chronicles the response of the public, the press and the baseball establishment to the tragic incident.
I can't say it any other way - I was moved by this book and loved reading it.
Just a few quibbles. In the kindle edition, there seemed to be some formatting glitches, at least as read on an iPad, which caused some of the text to 'bunch up' and become difficult to read. There also seemed to be some places where a proofreader could have avoided dropped or misspelled words. But heck, it all added to the early 20th century feel of the story; and of the handwritten printing and drawings that tell the story.
By the way, it ends with a reasonable bibliography, should you choose to read more about this incident and the world of baseball at the time.
Definitely a five star.