Tom Gase's Reviews > Nine Innings

Nine Innings by Daniel Okrent
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Apr 28, 2012

really liked it
Read from April 23 to 28, 2012

I had been eyeing this book for years, and finally picked up this book that takes you inside a good afternoon game in 1982 between the eventual AL champions Milwaukee Brewers and the 1983 World Champion Baltimore Orioles.

I liked this idea a whole lot. This was a game played in Milwaukee in JUNE of that year. Where most books these days on baseball take us inning-by-inning of a World Series game or no-hitter, this was just a regular game in a pennant race, which as a fan, is what I am more likely to see if I go to a ballgame.

Daniel Okrent, who is featured in Ken Burns baseball documentary a lot, does a good job writing this book. Although the book does kind of go all over the place, it does do a good job of sticking to the subject matter of the hitter or the pitcher most of the time. The only time this book suffers in my mind is when it goes away from the game to talk about owning teams with Bud Selig, or with the start of free agency with Marvin Miller. Frankly, I don't care about that stuff, and I don't like it when the business side is included too much in baseball books, but as a reporter I guess I realize it's necessary at times.

This book has stories of a whole bunch of good players such as Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers. It also has some stories on lesser-known players such as John Lowenstein, Storm Davis, Jim Gatner, Gormon Thomas, Ben Oligive, Charlie Moore, Rick Dempsey, Bob McClure, Jim Slaton, Ken Singelton and Al Bumbry. Just shy of the 30th anniversary of this good game, this was a good read. A plus in the book I thought was interesting was this whole book describes what goes on in an average baseball game for about 250 pages (would have been better if it was closer to 215) but on the last page it has a copy of the New York Times brief on the game that is only 5 paragraphs or something. So it really goes to show what goes on in a reporters head as he takes all this information he saw while watching a good game that could be written into a 260 pages book, and instead makes it a five paragraph little brief. Good stuff. I recommend for any baseball fan, basically a must-read for any Baltimore Oriole or Milwaukee Brewer fan.
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