It has been repeated often, but Giamatti was a true Renaissance man. The former president of Yale was chosen as commissioner of Major League Baseball in 1988 but only served a five-month term. His sudden death at age 51 was a genuine loss, for Giamatti enlivened the game with his vision and wit. Scholarship and sport were twin passions for him, and this collection of short writings shows the clarity and the champagne-like, teeming quality of his thoughts. Many quality photos accompany his quotes on baseball and life. There are also contributions from sportswriters and friends of the man acclaimed writer Roger Angell called ``a lifetime .400 talker.'' Though not an essential purchase, this is recommended for baseball collections.-- Paul Kaplan, Dakota Cty. Lib., Eagan, Minn.