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The Unwritten Rules of Baseball: The Etiquette, Conventional Wisdom, and Axiomatic Codes of Our National Pastime Hardcover – March 24, 2009
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About the Author
Paul Dickson has written eight bat and ball books (one on softball, seven on baseball) and is working on the third edition of his Dickson Baseball Dictionary, as well as a new work, The Unwritten Rules of Baseball. He also writes narrative 20th century American history and compiles word books. He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland, with his wife, Nancy.
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Top Customer Reviews
As he works through these unwritten rules, divided up as rules for players, rules for managing, rules for umpires, rules for official scorers, and rules for fans, Dickson offers insightful and sometimes humorous anecdotes about the application of these unwritten rules. Most of them, of course, are common sense, such as fans not throwing anything on the field except opposing team home run balls. Some of them are based on superstition and custom such as rule "1.4.2. Ballplayers have routines that are to be honored and not interrupted" (p. 37). Others are nothing more than good manners: "1.1.1. A player's locker is off limits to everyone save for the man whose name appears on it" (p. 27). Still others are recent additions based on nostalgia as in "7.2.0. New ballparks: Baseball should be played outside on real grass in a stadium designed strictly for baseball" (p. 148).Read more ›
Dickson's latest foray into the national pastime looks at baseball's conventions and traditions (many of which are decidedly quirky) and its "culture" (far from straight and sober in so many ways), and in doing so reveals the underlying charm and seductiveness of baseball.
At the same time,
2). It's full of the wisdom that can only come from experience.
Dickson doesn't just string a bunch of bon mots you might overhear hanging around a sports bar and call it a book: far from it. Rather, he has exhaustively researched and gathered a staggering amount of insights and acumen from a virtual army of individuals with immeasurable experience in and understanding of baseball (from Yogi Berra to Don Zimmer, and all points in between).
3). It's sharp, energetic and witty.
Some have said that a good sense of humor is a sign of intelligence. If that's so, Dickson is one smart guy, and he shows it with this book. Moreover, it's also obvious that many - if not most - of the players, coaches, managers and assorted baseball people quoted in the book have something more than air between their ears as well.
In short, no one who buys and reads this book will ever feel any remorse or regret in having made the investment of money and time to do so. It delivers what the title promises, in spades, and - like all the many other books that Dickson has penned over his long and prolific career - it's altogether sound, rock solid in its execution, and simply delightful in every respect.
Then it occurred to me: As much as I love hockey, I don't know that any sport could have as much unwritten etiquette as baseball simply because of its pace and longevity as a mostly unchanged game over the past hundred years.
I really wasn't sure how I could convey that to my Canucks, but this book is probably a good start. Though it won't lead anyone by the hand through the sport (I'll still have to explain some of the nuances and plays referred to), I feel like I could give it to any of them to read and understand how much more there is going on than simply what they're seeing on the field. Now, I'm not one to keep score at games, but I do try to keep a close eye on the little things not reported on the Jumbotron. I'm hoping that even reading some of this collected wisdom will help my wife and her friends draw more from the game than drunken idiots slapping beach balls or instigating 'the wave' could ever see.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. I learned a lot about baseball that I didn't know.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Love it. Husband does too, and he's not much of a book reader. You can open it to any ol' page and read happily, nodding your head in agreement, or have the occasional WOW! moment. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Carol Wolf
I felt like the first half of this book was great, especially for someone like me who didn't already know these things. (If you do, you're not likely to find anything new. Read morePublished 19 months ago by KKB
Great insight into the greatest game on earth! A must read for anyone who is actively involved with any aspect of baseball.Published 20 months ago by Josh Whaley
The Kindle price is too high, $9.78 versus $11.60 for a hardcover. I just bought The Secret Language of Baseball, Kindle price $3.99, paperback $11.80. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Kunst
Aren't rules that are..."unwritten" always more interesting that official rules ? I think so. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Trudy Sanders
Written in the form of a real rule book, Paul Dickson lays them all out for the layman of baseball.Published on January 9, 2014 by Carlos W. Wright