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Home Run (Harvest Original) Paperback – June 1, 2001

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

The ideal pitch for a hitter is a fastball that hangs over the plate long enough to be knocked beyond the outfield fence. Home Run, a literary tribute to batters with a knack for the long ball, presents accounts of some of the most famous home runs in baseball history.

In this smart collection edited by George Plimpton, some of the best writers on baseball (Robert W. Creamer, Roger Angell) and some of the best American writers, period (Don DeLillo, John Updike), provide unique portraits of famous sluggers (Ruth, Williams, Aaron, and Josh Gibson, to name a few), their myths, and the circumstances of famous home runs (with nods to the pitchers who served them up). And as a bonus, Plimpton includes a chronology describing a century's worth of milestones.

These writers do vastly more than document baseball history: they write about something they love, and write with conviction. For example, Japanese ballplayer Sadaharu Oh, who hit 868 career homers (to Aaron's 755), describes the feeling of hitting one out in "A Zen Way of Baseball": "As the ball makes its high, long arc beyond the playing field, the diamond and the stands suddenly belong to one man. In that brief, brief time you are free of all demands and complications.... In this moment [you] are free." --Michael Ferch

From Publishers Weekly

From the late poet Gregory Corso's "Dream of a Baseball Star" to pitcher Sadaharu Oh's "A Zen Way of Baseball," New York's honorary commissioner of fireworks, George Plimpton (who has also written a score of books and cofounded the Paris Review), has assembled the full-swinging Home Run, with pieces devoted to that fence-transcending moment. Don DeLillo's fictionalized "Pafko at the Wall" watches Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard `Round the World" sail over his head; Garrison Keillor takes "The Babe" to Lake Wobegon; and Roger Angell (A Pitcher's Story; Forecasts, Apr. 16) chimes in with "Homeric Tales" of the mythically showstopping impact of home runs: "Even when one goes out in mid-game, it stops the story. Nothing ensues." These 18 essays revel in such moments as Maris's 61st, McGwire's 69th and 70th and Hank Aaron's all-time record.Plimpton (who contributes two essays) presents all with signature panache in introductory notes.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Original
  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; Reprint edition (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156011549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156011549
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,065,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Michael R. Chernick on May 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Interesting writers like George Plimpton and Garrison Keillor join with some of the great baseball writers of all time to put together a collection of fact and fiction centering around the excitement of the home run. Plimpton is the editor and he also contributes Chapter 1 which covers the history of the home run and the single season home run record.

Plimpton is not a sports writer but he made his entry into sports writing with the story Paper Lion, a true story about his experience as he attempts to play football for the real Detroit Lions. After that he became recognized as one who writes about sports.

This is a great collection with some articles that should interest every baseball fans, As the other amazon reviewer says, he found that the stories he didn't could easily be skipped. I do not see a single story that is not interesting to me.
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Format: Paperback
Good stuff from Angell, Reilly, Rice, Smith and Telander. And the vital essay by Updike.
Could have done without the fictional excerpts about the Babe and Thomson, but the great thing about collections like these is the parts you don't like are easy to skip.
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Format: Paperback
The History of baseball has had some great moments and some great players, and Home Run is a great book for any one who wants to relive the experience. Home Run is a special kind of book because it doesn't have just one genre. Home Run actually splits into the 3 genres of fiction, non-fiction, and biography. Now some people might not like the idea of having a lot of different genres in one book, but it is an interesting concept and if you like reading about funny "after the game" stories while learning about your favorite players, then you should be satisfied. The first part of the book talks about some interesting stories that never happened which should satisfy most people looking for a good story, while the second part of the book talks about stuff that actually happened, giving new readers knowledge and the older readers nostalgia. Throughout the whole book, information about the former baseball stars, giving indication of biography. However as the book goes on, reading all the small text is difficult if you don't have enough light. The book can also be rather boring if you aren't the biggest fan of baseball. If you are a baseball fan, then this book is a must have, but if you aren't then this book is considered okay if you need some time to waste during the weekend.
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