‘Perfect Game’ is a baseball fan’s paradise | VailDaily.com

‘Perfect Game’ is a baseball fan’s paradise

Terri Schlichenmeyer

Now that opening day is behind us, would any baseball fans like to make a prediction on who will go to the World Series in a little over five months?Not so fast. There are still plenty of games to hear, watch, or attend. In the meantime, grab a cool one, settle down with the radio on, and start reading “Baseball The Perfect Game”, edited by Josh Leventhal (c.2005, Voyageur Press).Using excerpts from biographies, programs, and newspaper and magazine articles from times past and times recent, Leventhal gives you a peek into the game’s greatest (and not-so-great) moments, the arguably greatest players, and the teams you’ve cheered for and followed, perhaps all your life.It’s easy to imagine what goes through the mind of the pitcher who wins the game in a shut-out or allows very few hits. But what about the guy who loses and is booed off the field? He knows he did his best, but he feels lower than the dirt under his cleats. In the fitting first chapter, “Opening Day”, former Reds player Jim Brosnan writes about being the losing player on the very first game of the official season.Nearly every little boy and a fair amount of little girls grew up collecting baseball cards. Way too many of those little-boys-cum-big-boys now bemoan the fact that they used those cards to make “motors” for their bikes, or that Mom threw all those cards in the trash. Read about the Grandfather of Card Collecting in “The Collector,” the true story of J.R. Burdick, a quiet man who raced death as he organized his vast collection for donation to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.If you were to ask a hundred people to name the best all-time baseball players ever, you would hear a hundred names: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Sammy Sosa, to name a few. Yes, they have their own chapters in this book but what about Satchel Paige? There’s a can’t-miss chapter from his autobiography in this book. There are also stories about Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and a nice, long chapter about the day that Hammerin’ Hank Aaron smashed the Babe’s home run record.Aside from the actual narrative in this book and that alone is a baseball fan’s paradise the pictures in this book caught my eye. “Baseball The Perfect Game” is filled with vintage photos, paintings, clips, still shots, and programs from everyday games and World Series matches going back to the very beginning.This book is not for the casual baseball fan. There are statistics in here – lots of them. There are dozens of “remember when?” kinds of stories that you’ll understand best if you cut your teeth on a bat. If you’re a once-in-awhile kind of baseball fan, you probably aren’t going to like this book as much as a real, true baseball nut will.If you’re that real, true baseball nut, though, this book is a big home run. VT

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