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Baseball, Gould writes in this collection of diverse essays and reviews, is an intellectuals game, but only accidentally so; plenty of smart folks like other sports. In his case, though, baseball was the game to follow, for he grew up in the New York of the 1950s, when the city had "the three greatest teams in major league baseball." Two of those teams later moved far away, but Gould nursed his passion into adulthood, all the while acquiring plenty of ammunition for sophisticated arguments about every facet of the game. In these pages, for instance, he weighs in on such eminently arguable matters as the greatest player the sport has known (Ty Cobb, maybe), the greatest single game ever played (game six of the 1975 World Series), why it is that no one hits .400 these days (its a matter of statistics, but so much more too), and whether the current system of postseason playoffs is a good thing (no).
The sport has had few more learned and literate fans than Gould, who brings his best to these pieces. Celebrating triumphs and mourning tragedies on and off the diamond, this book makes just the right companion for the new season, and for the seasons to come. --Gregory McNamee
This collection of essays is an astute analysis of the game of baseball. Gould tells us why there are no longer any 400 hitters and why it is extremely unlikely that anyone will... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Paul Moskowitz
As a lifelong baseball and Yankees fan, this was reading euphoria.
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Stephen Jay Gould has long been one of my favorite writers, principally as paleontologist. Here,his other passion is so infectious that you are easily drawn into his childhood... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Kindle Customer
I read this book for nostalgia reasons and I was not diappointed. If you are a baseball fan this book is amust read!Published 21 months ago by 31jj
Published at the end of his life, Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville is a collection of essays by renowned anthropologist, Stephen Jay Gould. Read morePublished on May 11, 2012 by MiddleSchoolTeacher
Gould was a great baseball fan. His writings about what it was like to grow up in New York City during the 50's are wonderful. Read morePublished on June 26, 2007 by Martin Andrade
Gould was one of those people for whom baseball was an adored affliction. He was a true lover of the game and a traditionalist in the best usage of the term. Read morePublished on December 5, 2006 by Charles Ashbacher