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The New Face of Baseball: The One-Hundred-Year Rise and Triumph of Latinos in America's Favorite Sport Hardcover – June 3, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wendel's story of the Latino experience in baseball is a faithful and functional roundup of player mini-bios and factoids. With a foreword by Costas, the book's got the black-and-white down, but one wishes for more color: Wendel, a founder of USA Today Baseball Weekly, gets his subjects' on-field accomplishments, but could have dug deeper to explore their experiences as people, not mere athletes. Such episodes as Pirate Roberto Clemente's insistence that people call him by his given name and not "Bob," as on his baseball card, and his speaking Spanish during a national television interview following the Pirates' World Series win in 1971 are inspired glimpses into the player's psyche and excellent examples of the strides Latinos have made in the game over the last century. However, while the 1998 home-run duel between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire is an intriguing swatch of baseball lore, the reader only partially gets a sense of where the Dominican-reared Sosa's unique enthusiasm for the game comes from. Similarly, an excerpt about miscreant slugger Jose Canseco reveals little more than even a casual baseball fan would have read in the tabloids. At times, Wendel is guilty of suspending objectivity in praising his subjects: in detailing the infamous incident of superstar second baseman Roberto Alomar spitting in an umpire's face, the ballplayer becomes the victim, and fans who still remember "the unfortunate situation" are seen as the transgressors.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Tim Wendel is an award-winning journalist and the author of Castro's Curveball, a novel about baseball in Cuba. Wendel is one of the founders of USA Today Baseball Weekly, where he served as an editor and writer. He teaches at Johns Hopkins University and lives, in Vienna, Virginia.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rayo (June 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060536314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060536312
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,626,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Wendel is the author of 11 books -- novels and narrative nonfiction. His latest book is DOWN TO THE LAST PITCH (Da Capo Press). His writing has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Gargoyle, The New York Times, The Washington Post and American Scholar. He's a writer in residence at Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches nonfiction and fiction. For more information, www.timwendel.com.

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Okay, let's start with my admission that I'm not a baseball fan. I knew the game from childhood but the big money and greed have alienated many of us who enjoyed baseball as kids. That being said, I found that The New Face of Baseball refreshing enough to evoke some of those feelings that made me appreciate baseball in the first place. The book has to do with talented Latino baseball players like Clemente, Cepeda, and Sosa. The common element is that these players played the game elsewhere before coming the United States, places where the game is more sacred and believe it or not more important than here in America.
The books consists of short stories about many of today's heroes that have quickly become baseball superstars, and those older stars who paved the way for the younger Latino players much the way Robinson and Dobry did for African American players. The author uses player interviews and past experiences of his own to give the reader a greater appreciation for what players Latin America have done for today's game.
Maybe the most interesting part is the All Century Latino team listed at the end of the book. It's a lineup that would challenge any other all-star team, past or present.
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Format: Hardcover
Wendel gives a face to the many Latino players that have been a part of baseball in the US -- first in "Negro" leagues and finally in the majors where they have come to dominate. Wendel's writing is always very readable, with facts interlaced with plenty of stories by and about the Latino players. The photographs are a wonderful plus to this excellent account of the rise of Latino players in baseball. Six year olds (such as my grandson) can readily identify the pictures of current players. Another excellent read (this one fiction) by Wendel is "Castro's Curveball." I highly recommend it also.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this in a seminar class that I taught. Great insight into the Latin American baseball farms where young boys are pick to become professional and trained to get there.
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