Football is force and fanatics, basketball is beauty and bounce. Baseball is everything: action, grace, the seasons of our lives. George Vecsey s book proves it, without wasting a word.
Lee Eisenberg, author of "The Number"
In "Baseball," one of the great bards of America s Grand Old Game gives a rousing account of the sport, from its pre-Republic roots to the present day. George Vecsey casts a fresh eye on the game, illuminates its foibles and triumphs, and performs a marvelous feat: making a classic story seem refreshingly new.
"Baseball" is a narrative of America s can-do spirit, in which stalwart immigrants such as Henry Chadwick could transplant cricket and rounders into the fertile American culture and in which die-hard unionist baseballers such as Charles Comiskey and Connie Mack could eventually become the tightfisted avatars of the game s big-money establishment. It s a celebration of such underdogs as a rag-armed catcher turned owner named Branch Rickey and a sure-handed fielder named Curt Flood, both of whom flourished as true great men of history. But most of all, "Baseball "is a testament to the unbreakable bond between our nation s pastime and the fans, who ve remained loyal through the fifty-year-long interdict on black athletes, the Black Sox scandal, franchise relocation, and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by some major stars.
Reverent, playful, and filled with Vecsey s charm, "Baseball "begs to be read in the span of a rain-delayed doubleheader, and so enjoyable that, like a favorite team s championship run, one hopes it never ends.
Vecsey possesses a journalist s eye for detail and a historian s feel for the sweep of action. His research is scrupulous and his writing crisp. This book is an instant classic a highly readable guide to America s great enduring pastime. "The Louisville Courier Journal
"From the Hardcover edition.""