Saturday, February 04, 2006

Its that time again

With fatherhood a lot of things change. I seem to have as much time to read. I just don’t have time to jot down any coherent thoughts. With that in mind, my book review for this month (which I actually read leading up to X-mas) is a re-read of one of my all time favorite baseball books “The Pitch that Killed” by Mike Sowell.

-continued in comments

1 comment:

  1. This is the story of the 1920 season, specifically focused on Carl Mays and Ray Chapman but also good details of the pennant race that season and the lingering affects of the Black Sox scandal from the year before.

    I periodically go back and read this book every two years or so. My reason for doing this is two fold. This was the first book I read that really gave me a thirst for learning more about baseball. Not the game, but the history. I first read this book in about 1992 or 1993, the summer that I “rediscovered” baseball and in doing so created a desire to learn as much as I could about the game. Growing up I had always played baseball and followed the current events, but as I entered adulthood I found that there was this whole world of history that had really been unexplored by me. The way I came across this book was that I was reading the very popular at that time Men at Work by George Will while on plane and the guy next to me was a big baseball fan, noticed I was reading that book and upon striking up a conversation he noted that he was not that impressed by Men at Work and he recommended “The Pitch that Killed.” And from there I went.

    Secondly, each time I have read it, something new jumps out at me and leaves a lasting impression. This time (and this was the fourth or fifth time I read the book) it was that Mays was a submariner. Now having read the book that many times you would think that I would remember as much – the only guy to kill a guy in the majors throws underhand and it did not leave that lasting impression. Maybe it was that Mike Myers and Chad Bradford had pitched for the Sox that made it stick out this time. Who knows.

    Regardless, with each reading there are so many things that make you say – wow the game really has changed or wow the game has not changed at all.

    For instance – in the not changed category, there is lots of talk about pitchers controlling the inside of the plate, “baseball men” and “playing the game the right way”, and the business aspect of the game.

    Things that have changed – players having jobs in the offseason. Real jobs. Spectators being allowed on the field when overflow crowds. Strange travel and game schedules – like off days on weekends.

    These just name a few.

    Bottom line is – I highly recommend the book – although I’m not sure it is even still in print. Perhaps it is so close to me because of my personal attachment, but if you like to read and you like to read about baseball. This book is a home run.