This work is a compilation of articles culled from the publications of the Society for American Baseball Research. The entries fall under five general categories: records, statistics, controversy, trivia, and characters of the game. Articles on events surrounding Babe Ruth's famous called home run shot in the 1932 World Series (including an analysis of recently released film footage), retroactive Cy Young and rookie-of-the-year awards to ballplayers who would have won the honors before the awards were instituted, and a survey of all-time best baseball books are typical of the wide-ranging selections available here. Altogether, the work highlights some of the more intriguing moments of the game's past and is a worthy complement to core subject collections.-- William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is often associated only with "sabremetrics," the snazzy numbers-crunching system that has spawned a whole new era of statistical analysis of the grand old game. But SABR is much more than numbers as this fascinating collection attests. The history of the game and its players is also a SABR concern. Numbers play a role in these essays, but only when they can help prove a point. Among the highlights are profiles of St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Bob Gibson's 1968 season (arguably the greatest season a pitcher ever had) and Bill Mazeroski, the Pittsburgh Pirate second baseman of the fifties and sixties who may have been the greatest ever, defensively, at his position. Other topics include selections for a baseball library; umpiring in the 1890s; single-season wonders, and the all-time Punch-and-Judy (no power) all-star team. An excellent collection with at least one piece sure to find the middle of every baseball fan's strike zone.