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My Baseball Diary (Writing Baseball) Paperback – April 24, 1998

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Product Details

  • Series: Writing Baseball
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (April 24, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809321890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809321896
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,847,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

More than 40 years old, and inconceivably out of print for 30 of them, Farrell's Baseball Diary, one of the first gems in a new series of baseball reissues from Southern Illinois University Press, is as rare as a starter who can go nine these days: an ancient text that stays fresh on the wizardry of its ebullient prose. Farrell, who died in 1979, was a hard-hitting novelist and utility man-of- letters; his Studs Lonigan trilogy, which brilliantly mined the lives of the Irish working-class of Chicago in the early part of the century, was certainly a literary grand slam, a masterpiece of American realism. His Diary is less the formal journal of its title than a colorful collection of beautifully crafted remembrances, profiles, observations, and fictional excerpts that span the first 50 years of his seven-decade romance with the game.

He writes insightfully on Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, and Ray Schalk, and quite poignantly on Buck Weaver, the White Sox third baseman shamed in the 1919 scandal. He conjures up his first game as a boy in 1911 with loving detail, recounts going to White Sox games with his Red Sox-fan grandmother, and recalls Mrs. McCuddahy's Tavern--the ballplayers' home away from home--adjacent to Comiskey Park with a spirited fondness that's still infectious. All of that barely dents the top of the order of this all-star compendium from a writer worthy of his own niche in the Cooperstown of American letters. --Jeff Silverman, Sports editor

From Library Journal

The publisher is using this 1957 volume to launch its new "Writing Baseball" series. Farrell's Diary chronicles his lifelong affair with the game, which began at age six. The author here reminisces about his favorite games, players, and baseball's place in life. Old White Sox fans never die, they just get reprinted.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Smith on May 3, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After years of searching secondhand stores for "My Baseball Diary," I was delighted to find it back in print after a long hiatus. Farrell takes off his novelist's hat and delivers a straightforward homage to the game. Unlike George Will and others who have exhibited an unfortunate tendency to overanalyze baseball and lace their writing with social commentary, Farrell reminds us that we attach ourselves to the game as kids, and forever after our love for it comes from childhood.
Most remarkable are Farrell's clear and unadorned memories of the White Sox games that he saw as a boy growing up on the South Side of Chicago. He devotes a great chapter to detailing a no-hit game he saw pitched by Ed Walsh, one of his many childhood heroes. You feel with him the mounting excitement as Walsh approached recording the final out of his gem.
Farrell also brings vividly to life the 1917 White Sox, the "No-Hit Wonders," who batted just .228 as a team but who went on to win the World Series handily. His admiration for the team is plain (and he writes convincingly of the strengths of individuals on it), but he doesn't back away from expressing the disappointment the infamous 1919 team delivered him. At the same time, we get from Farrell the point made much later by Eliot Asinof in "Eight Men Out": that owner Charles Comiskey's economic abuse of the team contributed to the decision to throw the Series.
Fans of the White Sox will appreciate the portraits of Ray Schalk, Eddie Collins, Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, Nick Altrock and many others. Farrell shows he was a close observor of the nuances of the game from a young age and never slips into mere idolatry.
Overall the book is a fine evocation of baseball when the game and its players were more tightly integrated into the communities it served and fascinated. Farrell turns his writer's eye to the past and returns with memories bathed in the light of childhood.
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