Customer Reviews: Sports Illustrated the Baseball Book
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on December 24, 2006
Sports Illustrated: The Baseball Book proves to be a fantastic photo history of the Major League Baseball. Using some of the greatest baseball photographs ever taken by Sports Illustrated, the book traces the history of baseball from the first decade of the 20th century to the first six years of the 21st. There are short articles scattered among the pages on special events and personalities of the game but most of the book remains a photo feast of baseball history. Also shown are photographs of rare baseball equipments, probably from Cooperstown Hall of Fame collection. Each photographs proves to be clearly marked and explained.

While a fantatsic book overall, I only have two minor quibbles with the book. For one, the photographs are not in any real order. You got modern as well as old photos mixed together regardless of the decade chapters of the book. Articles are that way too. Two, as a Boston Red Sox fan, I was bit surprised that there was very little mention of their 2004 season play-off series which considered by many baseball historians as one of the greatest ever played. Breaking of the curse and all that captured the attention of the entire nation as no baseball event ever has in a very long time. (Entire team was voted as "Sportsmen of the Year".)

Otherwise, a fantastic collection of photos of baseball history that should satisfied any fan of the game like myself for long time to come.
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on October 6, 2006
A must for any Baseball fan. The photos in this book are simply amazing. It will make you fall in love again with the game you grew up on.
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on January 23, 2012
The price is low compared to what you get. Excellent book! I bought it just to have a different perspective of baseball. but the pictures... the energy and history on this book are delightful. highly recommended.
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on January 7, 2013
If you're knowledgeable about the history of baseball, this book with reward you with hundreds of large-scale, gorgeous images from all eras of the game.

However, the book provides very little context for the photographs. While it includes a few random essays sprinkled throughout, The Baseball Book is 95% photos with short captions.

Not great for a young kid just learning about baseball on his own, but fantastic for a father to share with his kids.
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on July 7, 2012
My nine year old loves baseball and is the kind of kid who likes to pore over books that are loaded with facts and pictures. He got this for his birthday and took to it immediately. The Sports Illustrated people have tried to put the baseball facts into a larger pop cultural context, so the young reader learns, for instance, who won the World Series in 1953 and what famous people were born that year.

A lot of the pictures I've never seen before, so it's a fun book for this non-young reader as well.
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on January 9, 2012
I purchased this as a Christmas gift for my niece's husband. He still plays on a community baseball team and really loves the sport. He was delighted with it. He immediately opened it and I could see that it was a well put together book. The photos were spectacular and from the comments I overheard as he was looking at it, it seemed to have excellent historical coverage. When the day was over and we were all starting for our homes, he was still reading. As a gift, it was a "home run".

I think it will make an excellent birthday gift for my nephew and will purchase another one.
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on January 4, 2007
Overall I would say SI did a pretty good job with this book. The photography is awesome and they included several interesting and quirky aspects of baseball to help give a sense of the sport's unique history and personality. I learned quite a few new things and enjoyed seeing other things I had heard about, for example Juan Marichal using his bat as a weapon! Also a good job on baseball's international popularity by including several Latin/South American/Japanese players and their influence on the game.

I have to agree with the reviewer who thought the Red Sox 2004 World Series victory should have recieved more attention (and I don't even like them). This holds true for some other things too, such as the Bay area earthquake World Series, Lou Gehrig's "luckiest man" speech (not only a great baseball moment but a great moment for all humanity, but perhaps too obvious and well-known to be included in this book), and not including Field Of Dreams on the baseball movies page (the father/son relationship theme is so relevant to baseball and it's history in America). Hitting my father in the knees with fastballs in our backyard as he crouched down and caught and I pitched is one of my fondest childhood memories! By the way, Johnny Bench is the greatest catcher of all time because my father told me he was.

Guess I just wanted a bigger book! Baseball history is tough to cover because it has been around a lot longer and so many more games are played. With The Football Book, it was easier to cover everything and SI really nailed it.

Other complaints are that too many pictures from 2000 to present were included and not enough from the 70's, 80's, and early to mid 90's, when baseball was still great and not so profit-driven that core values and purity of the game are compromised for hype in order to look good in an ever increasing commercialized, quick-fix, and sterile society. (whatever that means)

Also detected a slight Yankees bias, but they do deserve the most coverage (DiMaggio, Mantle, Gehrig, Ruth, Maris--some of the classiest and greatest ever!). But Rivera on the all-time team? Ya, one of the great closers, and closing is more difficult than many think, but leaving off pitchers like Nolan Ryan, Bob Feller, and Gibson is just inexcusable. Closers?, we don't need no stinkin' closers.

I recommend buying this book for $19.95 on sale if at all possible.
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on November 13, 2012
When I was a kid I had an earlier edition of this book and would stare at it for hours in wide eyed wonder. Now as an adult its effect is much the same. It is the most wonderful sports pictorial history I've ever seen. This book is the perfect coffee table center piece for the baseball fanatic in you're family.
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on December 10, 2014
This is a great coffee table book with beautiful pictures and packed with information, organized by decade. The only problem is that there are pages of cultural information for each decade, including "sex symbols" and "villains." I was dismayed to read a description of Jeffrey Dahmer on the page for the 1990s, and it included too much graphic detail for an elementary-age audience. Too bad.
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on August 27, 2014
For me I love history and to see the history of America's past time in photos is fantastic. And if you like stats it has all the leaders broken down by decade and also brief summaries of what was part of the general culture in whatever decade it was, such as the 50s for example, and what well known celebrities were born or died then.
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