In honor of the upcoming baseball season, I will be reviewing baseball books. There are good and even a few great books written about basketball, football, and hockey. But in baseball there are so many more.
Baseball is at its root a game of conversation. The long season, the timeless nature of the games themselves, leads inevitably to conversation. In the dugout, players and coaches tell stories about games and plays they have seen and players they have known. They talk about all the important and unimportant things in their lives in the way you can only talk to friends and people who share the very same histories, interests, passions, and skills. In the stands, fans do the same. Many of the stories are the same. On the radio and on television people are paid to talk about the game.
Over the last few years, with the strike, the steroid scandal, the proliferation of teams being able to literally buy a world series, my interest in the game has waned. But my love of baseball and of baseball books has not. Middle-aged men enjoy looking back at the glory of their youth. My youth and young adulthood coincided with some of the best baseball ever played. No doubt every generation has felt the same. You see it in the literature that surrounds the game. Men remembering their youth almost always feel that the best time has passed.
Over the next few weeks, I will be reviewing what I think are the best books about the game– non-fiction for the most part but a few fiction books all the same. 15 days to opening day. It is time to think of baseball again.