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The Hall of Nearly Great

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The Hall of Nearly Great is an ebook meant to celebrate the careers of those who are not celebrated. It’s not a book meant to reopen arguments about who does and does not deserve Hall of Fame enshrinement. Rather, it remembers those who, failing entrance into Cooperstown, may unfairly be lost to history. It’s for the players we grew up rooting for, the ones whose best year ...more
ebook, 300 pages
Published July 11th 2012 by SkyMarc Ventures, LLC

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A fantastic idea well-executed, The Hall of Nearly Great endured a name change and a Kickstarter campaign before coming to the world of e-readers, and the result charmed me thoroughly.

The book is comprised of several dozen essays of varying length dedicated to memorializing major league baseball players whose careers fell short of Hall of Fame recognition. Some were derailed by injury, others unfairly overlooked due to the era in which they played or their lack of a definitive performance peak.
A collection should be judged by two main variables: the strength of its theme, and the strength of its contributors. Unfortunately, this book doesn't particularly score high in either. Giving a blow-by-blow account of very good, if largely forgettable baseball players sounds tedious just as an idea, but in practice becomes even more tedious in the hands of the uneven talent level the book editors gathered. Some tales were actually good, and some were genuinely awful, but even some of the bigger ...more
Oliver Bateman
Each essay in here is likely to be the best essay you'll read about a given "Hall of Nearly Great" player. Posnanski on Dale Murphy is perhaps the definitive work the collection (and I'm saying that grudgingly, since I'm not a big fan of America's most notorious Paterno defender), but the essays on Will Clark, Ellis Burks, and Darrell Porter are also very good. Notwithstanding my remarks about the "best essay you'll read about a given player," the quality in tHoNG IS uneven (after all, who is li ...more
Aug 01, 2012 Joel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
A fun collection of essays about baseball players that deserve to be remembered more than they are. Obviously, the quality is going to vary in a collection like this, but for the most part the pieces are amusing and enlightening, painting interesting pictures of some players I barely knew anything about. I'd argue for the inclusions of Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, but I KNOW THAT'S TWO METS, and there are literally dozens of players who would have made great additions.

The best pieces are t
Nathan Krueger
A collection of well written essays be some of the great new-wave baseballs writers currently in the biz. The book focuses on those players who will (likely) never make the hall of fame. Each essay is penned by a different author, and has its own take on the subject matter. In many cases it reminded me of players I watched throughout their careers, and in others introduce facts about players I only know by name. I will certainly re-read this down the road, and hope for a similar installment from ...more
Jul 31, 2012 B rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Book of Nearly Great

Some of the essays are super-exciting. Others a little less so. I think the authors actually underestimated how interesting the stories were and sometimes got a little too literary and brief to jazz it up.

A couple of distracting errors (missing words, double quotations) in my version that I'm sure will clear up.

Also, I very much wish that the essays went in some sort of order and included fewer Red Sox.
Jonathan Blanks
This is a great collection for baseball stat heads that have maintained their romanticism for the game. If you lack either one of those qualities, this is probably going to disappoint you. However, this collection is perfect for people who have embraced advanced stats but still maintain their love for solid players that didn't quite capture the larger public imagination or whose greatness was too fleeting for Cooperstown.
Review to come, mostly about the ephemeral nature of Internet sportswriting. Also this is the 33 1/3 series of sportswriting anthologies: the ones that use the album as a springboard to further things can be great, but occasionally there's a mess. There is indeed a mess in here and if you know your internets sports guys, you can take a guess which one it is and probably be correct.
Patrick Coffey
A great book about some of the great players who are on the outside looking in to the Hall of Fame. It is interesting to imagine how some of these players would have had different careers if circumstances had been different.
Brian Ashmore
Enjoyable romp through some players that seemed like legends in the making for a short time, only to fall a little short. Did that diminish how much we loved them, nope. Great read for any baseball fan.
Sam Bauman
There were a lot of fun essays in this book. I'd get excited every time one of my favorite authors was up or an essay about a Twin. Great summer reading.
Zayne Johnson
i dont like baseball so i didnt really like this book but it was ok i guess. it is about a baseball team going to the championship and winning it
Thomas Love

Great idea, with no more than a couple pieces that were anything less than quite entertaining.
Thomas Greaves
A bit too Red Sox-centric, but overall very worthy of a read.
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