- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone (April 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743284909
- ISBN-13: 978-0743284905
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends: The Truth, the Lies, and Everything Else Paperback – April 1, 2008
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Author of "Liar's Poker" and "Moneyball"
Rob Neyer is one of those writers who can make his subject more interesting than anyone ever imagined it could be. He has written a delightful book for ardent baseball fans, but even people with a casual interest in baseball will find something to think about here.
"Rob Neyer is the best of the new generation of sportswriters. He knows baseball history like a child knows his piggy bank. He knows how to pick it up and shake it and make what he needs fall out."
-- Bill James
About the Author
Rob Neyer has written about baseball for ESPN.com since 1996 and appears regularly on ESPNews. He has written four baseball books, including The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (with Bill James) and Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups. His website, www.robneyer.com, contains additional material related to this and his other books.
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Top Customer Reviews
One caveat: like many books of this sort, this one is best read a few entries at a time spread out over a couple of weeks, rather than in one sitting. Finally, I found his discussion of Lawrence Ritter's oral history of early twentieth century baseball, The Glory of Their Times, to be particularly interesting. Although Ritter claimed that his book reproduced his interviews with baseball's early stars with very little editing, in fact, after comparing the book to CDs of the interviews Neyer finds that Ritter did substantial rewriting. Although Neyer argues that on balance Ritter's improving the old players' reminiscences was acceptable, I think it raises some interesting questions about the distinctions between a "good story" and a "true story" - which, I suppose, is the distinction that lies at the heart of Neyer's book.
In addition to the 60-so chapters, most chapters have margin stories that may relate to the story in the chapter. So the total number of tales looked at is probably about 150 to 200. Many of these are fascinating, but some are not so memorable. There are a few errors--there's a "Last Note of Humility" about Chance and Harper, which belongs with an earlier chapter, for example. The most troubling tale (which I had never heard before) is "Lou Gehrig & The Imposter" about how Gehrig's consecutive-game streak had been broken, with Danny Kaye wearing Gehrig's uniform. Neyer tracks down the story to a men's magazine and finds a piece by Scribbly Tate describing the events. Scribbly Tate--an obvious pseudonym--is Rob Neyer himself, using his favorite alter-ego: he received $[...] for the story in 1951. "a tale whose origin lies in the most deceitful corner of my own forgetful mind" is how he describes it. I wondered whether Neyer was pulling our legs here--but a Google search reveals that Scribbly Tate is indeed Neyer's favorite pseudonym. I would have liked to have seen some additional analysis--what other tales did Scribbly Tate spin? Overall, though, what you get is a good and enjoyable addition to your baseball library, even if it does pop a few of your favorite misconceptions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends" is sort of like reading the diary of a fact...Read more
I was definitely not overwhelmed.