Book Review: Arm Chair Reader Grand Slam Baseball: The Lore and Legends of America’s Game

If a sports fan is looking for the perfect reading partner in the bathroom, this book may provide them with just what they are looking for. With over 400 pages of baseball facts, statistics and stories, Grand Slam Baseball is sure to teach even the most knowledgeable of baseball fans a thing or two about the game they love.

The book is broken down into nine innings, although the reader barely notices this is the case because within each inning there are so many different sections that there is no difference moving from one to the next. There is seemingly no real flow to the order of the sections or the subjects, they are just played together in perhaps the order they were completed.

Some of the subjects of the book include profiling all-time great players, introducing fans to different baseball lingo, descriptions of some of the greatest teams of all-time and fast facts about the game.

While the book does focus mostly on things that happen on the field, it also examines off the field happenings as well such as the story behind the famous baseball poem Casey at the Bat and profiles of some of the most prolific owners in the game’s history.

Some of the things the reader will learn include the origin of the numbering system, information about some of the women who played baseball at their highest level, the stories behind some of the more famous homeruns throughout history, facts about feuds that occurred within organizations, and statistics about some ball players who were good at more than just America’s Pastime.

Even though the book is quite thick, it is a much quicker read than most would anticipate because most sections of the book are three pages and many are just one. In addition to making it easier for the reader to catch up on their fix in small time increments, it also shows how it is a perfect coffee table, or bathroom fixture, due to the way it is written.

One of the downfalls of the book is that it does cover some of the same information more than once, creating extra work for the reader. This may be due to the fact that an individual players were included in a few different lists of great achievers for one reason or another, but there could have been more effort in differentiating these sections.

Most fans will recognize, or at least remember hearing about, most of the information in the book due to the magnitude of many of the events and players described. For some, it may produce a walk down memory lane of times when the players weren’t paid twenty times as much as the average American, and for others, it will bring back great thoughts of talented players who are no longer with us.

The book is generally positive in manner, but it does a good job mixing in sentimental pieces that remind the reader of the true magnitude of the game and how many lives it touches on a yearly basis.

The book is written by six of the country’s well known baseball writers. The six writers are Paul Adomites, the former publication director for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), Bruce Markusen, a former employee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Matthew Silverman, the editor of The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, Jon Springer, a member of SABR, Marty Strasen, an editor at www.TBO.com/TheTampaTribune, and Saul Wisnia, a former sports writer for The Washington Post.

Overall Rating: 3/5

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