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Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2004

    Stupendous if not quite Total

    The 8th edition is even bigger than its predecessor and contains a wealth of information including complete stats for major-league players, team histories, a catalogue of ballparks past and present, lengthy 1950s magazine articles about major figures, other well-written essays on various topics, short biographies of the 'most influential' people in baseball, and a delightful section of well-chosen color portraits. There's lots of good armchair reading here if you don't mind having 7 lb. of book on your lap. Maybe it's time to split this monster into two volumes! The book's weakness as an 'encyclopedia' is the lack of an alphabetical reference, other than the glossary of statistical terms. I'd love to be able to look up things like infield fly, corked bat, Green Monster, and so on and be treated to a short history and description of these baseball phenomena. Also surprising is the lack of organized information on the rules of the game -- if the editors couldn't reprint the official rules for reasons of copyright, could they not have devoted at least a couple of pages to paraphrasing the rules and explaining some of the gnarlier points? The book is still great value, but it's not quite the complete reference that the title promises.

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