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41 Reviews
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3 star:
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nostalgic look at the baseball I grew up with.
I'm not much a baseball fan anymore, but I was in 1975 and this book reminded me why: Catfish Hunter, Bill Lee, The Big Red Machine, Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin and on and on. If those names mean anything to you, you'll love this book. And if they don't mean anything to you, you should read the book to find out who they are. Adelman does a wonderful job telling their...
Published on April 21, 2004 by R. Jones

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
This is a pretty good baseball book, but overall, it's just an okay book. The writing style, while interesting at times, often gets annoying. Additionally, the author pretends to know what's going on in the heads of several baseball players and managers and even construct faux quotations. This "writer's prerogative" leads to interesting stories and internal...
Published on June 17, 2004


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nostalgic look at the baseball I grew up with., April 21, 2004
By 
R. Jones (King, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Long Ball, the Summer of '75-Spaceman, Catfish, Charlie Hustle, and the Greatest World Series Ever Played (Audio Cassette)
I'm not much a baseball fan anymore, but I was in 1975 and this book reminded me why: Catfish Hunter, Bill Lee, The Big Red Machine, Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin and on and on. If those names mean anything to you, you'll love this book. And if they don't mean anything to you, you should read the book to find out who they are. Adelman does a wonderful job telling their stories (and many more, as well as the story of the season and how the events of 1975 changed baseball forever). One other note: I listened to the unabridged audio version of the book, and it included an extra tape with a very interesting author interview. Probably not worth paying the premium price for the audio edition, but worth checking your local library to see if they have it on their shelves.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Read on the 1975 Season, June 13, 2003
By 
Bill Emblom "Bill Emblom" (Ishpeming, Michigan USA) - See all my reviews
It has become popular during the last several years to have books published which are devoted to certain years during a baseball season. Some of them have been good while others have been found wanting. The Long Ball by Tom Adelman fits into the former category especially if you are old enough to remember the memorable 1975 season. There is a heavy emphasis on that year's World Series as it should, but it also includes a number of incidents and individuals that made headlines during that year such as the advent of free agency looming ominously on the horizon, and anecdotes on Casey Stengel, Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Bill Lee, Catfish Hunter, and Carl Yastrzemski, and many others. Half of the book is devoted to the post season playoffs and World Series. I like the author's use of humor in telling stories such as Bill Lee describing Bernie Carbo as "pure oxygen looking for a flame." The relationship between Sparky Anderson and Bernie Carbo is built up prior to that fantastic 6th game of the Series, and I thought Anderson's reaction to the ending of that game was precious as he felt betrayed by Carbo's 8th inning three run homer. I notice that this book has received mixed reviews, but I found the book to be enjoyable and it was fun to relive the '75 season through this book and be reunited with those individuals who were in the game during that time. Whether you were old enough to be a fan during this season or not, I think you will find this to be a very enjoyable book. It is worth the space on your bookcase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baseball at its Best, April 24, 2003
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As a longtime literature professor and a Red Sox fan since 1945, I thoroughly enjoyed Tom Adelman's blend of game descriptions, personal anecdotes, and poignant analyses in The Long Ball. I found his presentation refreshing, especially when compared with the hyped-up, controversy-stimulating, only occasionally decipherable fare served up by many of this area's so-called sports columnists. In a sensitive, meaningful way, Adelman has gifted us with a delightful, exciting account of an eminently memorable World Series.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different approach, excellent results, May 19, 2003
By 
This book could have been overlooked on the shelf for the simple reason that the title states: The Greatest World Series Ever Played. As such, the '75 series has been written about several times, with varying interest and success. But anyone who passes over this book will miss an enjoyable, and enlightening, read. With this effort, Adelman goes beyond the playing field and gives the readers a look into private lives of the ballplayers. Johnny Bench's marriage is disintegrating, yet he seemingly doesn't care because he wants to win. Luis Tiant's parents have never seen him pitch in the majors until the World Series. This is stuff that you can't get out of stat books or reference manuals. These are stories, of the players, of the game, of the times. Adelman provides hints throughout of how Casey Stengel, Astroturf, the DH and Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally are all intertwined. Part history book, part narrative and part comedy, this book belongs on all baseball fans' shelf at home, especially fans of the Sox and Reds. And if you really want to know how long a batter has to decide to swing (which actually IS closer to 1/2 second than .15 seconds -- think about it, no one can decide to swing, swing and make contact, all within .15 second -- watch the next time Randy Johnson is on the hill -- the batter starts moving toward a swing before the pitch is even released, but I digress), go read Robert Adair's "Physics of Baseball." But if you want an entertaining look at baseball in one of the last pure years, pre-steroid inflated numbers, pre-record induced egos, don't miss Adelman's brilliant book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why didn't I hear about this book sooner?, April 30, 2005
I just discovered this book at a local bookseller. I read it over the course of a few evenings, and I continue telling friends about cool tidbits I learned from The Long Ball.

Adelman's done his research, and his crisp, fast-paced writing gets you in the game quickly. Even if you're not a Reds or Red Sox fan, there's plenty in the book to enjoy, as it celebrates not only numerous players' personalities, but the nuances that make baseball so enjoyable for so many.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't blame the messenger, May 16, 2003
By A Customer
This book brings it all back in a flood of bitter-sweet memories. It is fittingly ironic that the Fisk home run in Game Six of the 1975 World Series - a Series that the Red Sox lost in Game Seven - remains one of the truly great memories for most Red Sox fans. We all remember it as "the perfect game," and in many respects it was. It was certainly the most exciting game I have ever witnessed. And then came Game Seven, a game that columnist Ray Fitzgerald suggested should not be played at all. Bill Lee, in his quirky new book, The Little Red (Sox) Book takes a few liberties with historical accuracy and re-writes what has become a rather anti-climactic chapter of Red Sox history. First Lee chronicles what really happened: how he started the game, how Perez homered off his ill-fated "blooper" pitch, how he left the game - with the Red Sox ahead 3-2 - in the seventh inning after developing a blister on his pitching hand. The rest is too painful to talk about. But maybe not. Lee decides to change this bit of history so that things turn out slightly differently. In his version, he has Perez lunge at third strike blooper "like Roseanne going for a hamburger." He still develops the blister but continues to pitch and retires the side on "nine Rh-negative" pitches. Thanks Tom Adelman. And thanks Bill Lee. Thanks for two great books: the fact and the blessed fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you feel like you're right there in 1975, May 16, 2005
By 
I happened to stumble upon this book at a local bookstore. The paperback cover said it was a "national bestseller." After a quick glimpse through it, I decided to pick it up. I wasn't disappointed. Adelman makes you feel as though you are right in the thick of things during the 1975 season. Newlywed Johnny Bench is featured prominently, as are Bobby Bonds and his son Barry, Pete Rose, Carlton Fisk, and Sparky Anderson. There isn't any reminiscing on how this year was, Adelman puts you right there month by month. The League Championship Series' and World Series are expounded upon greatly. The World Series is broken down by the days including the rainout days. A very good book. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars emotional and great, April 22, 2003
By A Customer
i enjoyed this book. i recommend it highly. it's very rare. it's not like other baseball books. it's more like a novel. i passed it over to my mom after i was done with it. she loved it, too. the characters are vivid and the sentences are well-crafted. so many fine details! it's got innocence and joy and heartbreak and triumph. it watches a single season of American sports through a very wide lens. it travels in time, it speeds up and slows down (just like a baseball game!!!!). my heart was racing as the world series went into its seventh game. i hope Adleman keeps writing books. he's a really dramatic storyteller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, April 3, 2003
By 
David A. Ross "Mattituck" (Darien, CT United States) - See all my reviews
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I am not much of a baseball fan but this book not only made me care about the 1975 season, it got me interested in baseball today. Adelman has a great delivery and keeps the action interesting throughout the story. He also includes some fascinating details about the game, such as the name of the first Met to commit an error. The book is also a snapshot of a specific time in America which the author captures perfectly. This makes The Long Ball more that just a baseball book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An A Plus Book to Read, April 22, 2003
By A Customer
I find The Long Ball a very enjoyable read. I do appreciate the way in which the author brings all of the baseball players to life and tells us of their personalities and lives rather than filling the book with just statistics. As a person who lives on the West Coast who is first a Dodger fan and secondly an Angel fan, I do enjoy hearing more about the East Coast teams and Boston. Obviously this book was well researched and well written and I recommend it highly.
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The Long Ball, the Summer of '75-Spaceman, Catfish, Charlie Hustle, and the Greatest World Series Ever Played
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