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Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups: A Complete Guide to the Best, Worst, and Most Memorable Players to Ever Grace the Major Leagues Paperback – June 2, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"You will argue with some of Rob's picks, and you will provoke many an argument with your baseball friends, but you will not be able to put this thought-provoking book down." - Jon Miller, ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball
"Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups is about baseball history, but Neyer's brand of cutting-edge analysis and objective evaluation is influencing baseball today." - Billy Beane
"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." - Michael Lewis, author of Liar's Poker and Moneyball
"Mantle or DiMaggio? Spahn or Maddux? Terry or McCovey? Don't guess -- read Neyer's book and learn the answers. In these pages, it's production (not nostalgia) that matters, and the result is a cogent parsing of baseball's all-time greats (and worsts)." - Joshua Prager, The Wall Street Journal
Top Customer Reviews
Lineups basically goes through the major leagues team by team. We're given an all-time lineup for each team as well as best homegrown players, gold gloves, iron gloves, all-bust, all-name and used-to-be-great -- which catalogues what great players eeked out their declining years on a certain club. This is accompanied by little essays in the margins detailing certain selections and a short essay for each team addressing some topic. The essays are actually pretty good, sort of like little columns that you might have missed on his espn gig.
Neyer has put together a rather unique look at the game. Most books of this type look at the best players of all time from all of baseball, but Neyer's book focuses on *teams* and gives you a sense of the ebb and flow of each team's history. You'll see how all thre greatest players in Royals history bunched up in the late 70's and early 80's, how Atlanta's best players all came in the 90's. The traded away section will detail eras of stupid management for each team. And in the back, you get year to year lineups.
I can't think of any other book that does this. Most books focus on the history of one team (usually the Yankees) or one great year (Yankees again, '27 or '98). But this book will give you your first real sense of the history of other organizations like the Expoes and Brewers and so forth -- teams I didn't know HAD a history before I read this.
It's not as big, bad and beautiful as the Historical abstracts but this is a book you'll find yourself leafing through frequently. Definitely worth buying.
Neyer gives a lot of credit where credit is due. His "iron glove" teams are at times a hoot. Neyer mentions the infamous Johnie LeMaster of the Giants at shortstop on their "iron glove" team, Jose Offerman his counterpart for the Dodgers, Eddie Matthews at first base for the 1967 Astros, and so on. His all-rookie teams include notables like Mark McGwire for the '87 A's (well doh) and Stan Musial for the 1942 Cardinals. For some long-time teams, he lists 2 greatest lineups.Read more ›
I enjoyed the appendix as much as any other part of the book. It showed the typical starting lineups for each team in every different year of their existence. It was interesting to see how stable the lineups were before free agency.
It is truly a book of lists, with little esle. If you have been a baseball fan for decades, you will enjoy a wonderful trip down memory lane. If you are a casual fan who has an interest in one or two teams, it may not be worth it.
I did not feel that the sidebars added that much to the book. They were too short to have the depth of information/analysis that I have come to enjoy in Rob's columns on ESPN.com.
That being said, I enjoyed the book and will keep it and refer back to it for years to come.
Last year he published BASEBALL DYNASTIES, in which he and co-author Eddie Epstein discussed the relative merits of some of the great teams in the long history of the game. Such "absolute" declarations fairly beg knowledgeable fans to take umbrage and offer counterpoint. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Meaningful discussion (i.e., anything that doesn't end with a beer bottle broken over your head) is an ancillary benefit of rooting for your favorites.
The author picks up where he left off with his fun new offering, ROB NEYER'S BIG BOOK OF BASEBALL LINEUPS. A senior writer and baseball columnist for ESPN.com, Neyer takes a very calculated measure of each team in creating these various lists. These include the greatest players for every ballclub (along with an "all second" team); players who enjoyed one especially fantastic year; an all-rookie team; a line-up of players who came up through the organization's minor leagues and another consisting of those traded to other teams; a best-defensive lineup, along with those who sported "iron gloves"; a roster of the worst players and another of those who were great at one time --- for other teams; and finally, a collection of the greatest "nicknames" at each position.
The lists consist of thumbnail sketches elucidating the author's choices and sidebars for those selections requiring a more extensive explanation. Neyer finishes off each chapter with a brief essay on a topic dear to his heart.
The enjoyment (or frustration) begins as the reader thumbs through each section. "Hey, why was Joe Shlabotnick left off of the list of all-time greats?" one might ask.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hands down one of the best baseball books I've ever read. Casual fans can peruse it and enjoy and hardcore fans like me can enjoy every single table and word. Read morePublished on June 1, 2014 by M. Sherwin
It's getting a bit dated but it's fun to reminisce about the old greats and near greats that played for teams past. Read morePublished on March 25, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Not as good as I expected. I did more research on my own and came up with better lists. okayPublished on February 18, 2013 by roseramsey
I love it. Greatest lineups of each team. Rookies, gold gloves, etc. Well researched thought out and laid out.
I have spent hours looking at it. Read more
As a huge fan of baseball, I enjoy reliving the past seasons, teams and players that I may have seen, read or heard at some point in time. Read morePublished on January 18, 2009 by Ben Woods
While Neyer may not be the world's best sportswriter(not as 'intellectual' as Bill James...although, IMO, James' approach is stuffy and self-satisfying, while Neyer is better able... Read morePublished on September 28, 2008 by Brian J. Oneill
I enjoyed this book very much. Neyer, Bill James' protege, isn't as good a writer as James, but he's still better than most baseball writers. The Big Book is highly enjoyable. Read morePublished on October 23, 2005 by J. Davis
At the risk of being slightly indelicate, this is the perfect "smallest-room-in-the-house" book for the inveterate baseball fan. Read morePublished on September 20, 2004 by liffeystynx
This book, like nearly all of Neyer's writing, was an extremely enjoyable read for the money. (Note: I purchased the book at a discounted price of $11.95. Read morePublished on May 12, 2004 by Joshua C. Hall