Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
solid job on a difficult task, could have been better, not as well done as SI's Football Book
on January 4, 2007
Overall I would say SI did a pretty good job with this book. The photography is awesome and they included several interesting and quirky aspects of baseball to help give a sense of the sport's unique history and personality. I learned quite a few new things and enjoyed seeing other things I had heard about, for example Juan Marichal using his bat as a weapon! Also a good job on baseball's international popularity by including several Latin/South American/Japanese players and their influence on the game.
I have to agree with the reviewer who thought the Red Sox 2004 World Series victory should have recieved more attention (and I don't even like them). This holds true for some other things too, such as the Bay area earthquake World Series, Lou Gehrig's "luckiest man" speech (not only a great baseball moment but a great moment for all humanity, but perhaps too obvious and well-known to be included in this book), and not including Field Of Dreams on the baseball movies page (the father/son relationship theme is so relevant to baseball and it's history in America). Hitting my father in the knees with fastballs in our backyard as he crouched down and caught and I pitched is one of my fondest childhood memories! By the way, Johnny Bench is the greatest catcher of all time because my father told me he was.
Guess I just wanted a bigger book! Baseball history is tough to cover because it has been around a lot longer and so many more games are played. With The Football Book, it was easier to cover everything and SI really nailed it.
Other complaints are that too many pictures from 2000 to present were included and not enough from the 70's, 80's, and early to mid 90's, when baseball was still great and not so profit-driven that core values and purity of the game are compromised for hype in order to look good in an ever increasing commercialized, quick-fix, and sterile society. (whatever that means)
Also detected a slight Yankees bias, but they do deserve the most coverage (DiMaggio, Mantle, Gehrig, Ruth, Maris--some of the classiest and greatest ever!). But Rivera on the all-time team? Ya, one of the great closers, and closing is more difficult than many think, but leaving off pitchers like Nolan Ryan, Bob Feller, and Gibson is just inexcusable. Closers?, we don't need no stinkin' closers.
I recommend buying this book for $19.95 on sale if at all possible.