Mike Lindgren's Reviews > Baseball: a Literary Anthology

Baseball by Nicholas Dawidoff
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's review
Apr 02, 13

bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in March, 2013

The Library of America and editor Robert Dawidoff have done an excellent job in collecting the reportage, fiction, memoir, and poetry that make up Baseball: A Literary Anthology. Spanning the murky and convoluted origins of the game to the present hyper-commercial supershow, the book essentially is a 700-page love letter on the mystery and beauty of the game. Much of the writing, not surprisingly, captures baseball's urban, postwar apogee as epitomized by the fierce internecine baseball wars carried out in New York between the Giants, Dodgers, and Yankees. To me this writing carries a romantic nostalgia for a harder, tougher, yet somehow more elegant America, full of smoke and alcohol and fedoras and profane, hard-bitten sportswriters. Nowhere is this more keenly evoked than in the book's penultimate piece, Don DeLillo's justly famous "Kafko at the Wall," a dazzling and panoramic account of the famous 1951 playoff between the Dodgers and the Giants at the Polo Grounds. A minor but telling cavil: I find it incomprehensible that nothing from Eliot Asinof's superb Eight Men Out -- the definitive account of the "thrown" 1919 World Series -- was included herein.

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Kyle This was a really good book. Me being a baseball player and fan as well really helped me get through the long book and also appreciate the game that I play a little more. Dawidoff compiled the stories together in such a way that anyone could understand some of the used baseball jargon. It also featured one of my favorite stories as a small child, "Casey at the Bat" which no doubtedly brought back many memories. I would reccomend this to anyone who is up to the challenge of 700 pages and appreciates the game of baseball.

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