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Good for beginners--but not for "Deeply Serious Geeks"
on August 20, 2007
The subtitle of this well crafted work: "A Professional Fan's Guide for Beginners, Semi-Experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks." For the first two categories, right on! Geeks are not going to learn a whole lot that they already do not know. That aside, though, this is a nice work.
Examples of what is in some of the chapters: Chapter 2 focuses on "Pitchers and Catchers." The first part of the chapter describes basic pitches (and how they are thrown)--fastball, curveball, slider, change-up, split-finger fastball, knuckleball, screwball, spitball (naughty, naughty!), eephus, and gyroball (does it even exist?). Each is described, with a bit of humor added here and there.
Chapter 5 explores "Fielding." There are brief descriptions of what each position has to do. As an old second baseman, I enjoyed reading about the basics of the double play and so on.
Chapter 6 examines "Stadiums" (but should this not be "Stadia," to use the proper Latin term?). One of the more enjoyable features is the description of some unique fields. Think Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. But why not talk about the cool stadium in Cleveland?
Chapter 9 takes a peek at "Random Stuff to Know." E.g., Why K for strikeout on scorecards? What about uniform numbers? The seventh inning stretch? And so on.
This book is a lot of fun. Even hard core baseball fans might enjoy it for its style, even though they may not learn a great deal that is new. For beginners and intermediate fans, though, this will be quite a pleasure!