Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends: The Truth, the Lies, and Everything Else” as Want to Read:
Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends: The Truth, the Lies, and Everything Else
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends: The Truth, the Lies, and Everything Else

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  225 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews

The latest and greatest in baseball guru Rob Neyer's
Big Book series, Legends is a highly entertaining guide to baseball fables that
have been handed down through generations.

The well-told baseball story has long been a staple for baseball fans. In Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends, Neyer breathes new life into both classic and obscure stories throughout

Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Touchstone (first published 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who already know who Bill James, Rob Neyer, and FJM are
In this book, Rob Neyer factchecks some of the many stories that have been told about baseball over the years. I personally love reading Rob Neyer's work, though one may need a certain level of baseball OCD to enjoy something like this. The bulk of the writing is going through boxscores and game accounts.

If you are a huge baseball dork, you'll like it, otherwise you'll be bored to tears (I liked it!).
Tom Stamper
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I've been reading this book casually since December whenever I wanted to take a break from something heavier. It's a series of 2-3 page recollections from ballplayers followed by Rob Neyer's research to check their veracity. As you can imagine ballplayers tend to remember the drama they were feeling and mistaking that for drama that never really took place on the ball field. I read a lot about baseball and many of the stories were new to me although there a few famous ones too. Neyer had to put ...more
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book could be entitled "Everything You Wanted To Know About Baseball But Were Afraid To Ask."

It covers baseball legends from nearly the inception of baseball as we now know it. I'm surprised, but really shouldn't be, at how many myths there are floating around out there. It seems that baseball players, especially those of great fame, are also great story tellers.

This author makes it clear that we loves the stories about these guys, regardless of who started them, because myth is often much
Jun 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Eh, this book was pretty good but I expected it to be better. Not really sure why I expected more, because all the Neyer books I've read have disappointed somewhat. (Though I keep reading because I've been an avid reader of his blog on ESPN for ten years).

Anyways, there's some great baseball stories in here (which is why I give it 3 stars) and Neyer tediously fact checks them. Did it happen or not? Most of the time, it didn't happen the way the storyteller told it. The essence of the story was
Jesse Richman
Sep 08, 2009 rated it liked it
The title of this book is a little deceiving -- what Neyer takes on here aren't really "legends" for the most part, just the sort of yarns and tall tales that old ballplayers are famous (infamous?) for. And he sometimes seems to lose the spirit of things as he nitpicks away at stories that were clearly never meant to be taken as historically accurate in the first place.

That said, it's fun to watch Neyer dig deep into the stacks of history to pull out facts and figures from baseball's earliest er
May 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
I'm a huge baseball fan, to the point where I fancy myself a bit of an historian. Also, I have read just about every word Rob Neyer has written for in the past 12 years. So, you'd expect that I'd love this book, right?

You'd be wrong.

Each self-contained chapter is 2-3 pages long, which is nice, and makes it easy to flip through quickly, but the topics are awful. Players you've never heard of (even me, in some cases), and players you never cared about.

And Neyer is attacking newspaper art
Graham Polando
Mar 20, 2013 rated it liked it
A fun bedside read. The title is deceptive: the “legends” make up maybe a tenth of the book’s word count, the remainder of which is Neyer’s strangely-compelling narrative on how he investigated each vignette.

How he went about that investigation is revealing: he compares the “legends,” which are really particularly vivid (and, at least to this reasonably well-informed baseball fan, not particularly legendary) stories, to box scores. If the story comports with the box score, it is true or at leas
Oliver Bateman
Dec 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Although the point of this book is to fact-check apocryphal baseball stories (many of which appear in classic and supposedly authoritative books like October 1964), it ends up being about something far bigger than that: the nature of truth itself. Neyer dances around but doesn't avoid this issue, with questions of memory and veracity raised in every chapter. We are left to answer for ourselves whether some version of the truth--as found in the record--is preferable to legends that, however false ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
As Bill James implied in the preface, a lot of these stories would be better if they were true. Or the reader would be happier if he could believe that they are true.

Severl of these stories were big winners. But Neyer's way of describing how he went about debunking them was unnecessary. It should have read "Myth:" and then "Fact:" and the process of going to Retrosheet should have been endnoted, if included anywhere.

There's also something somewhat archaic about all these references to batting av
Jason Anspach
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, baseball
I love, love, love baseball and I'm a sabermetrics guy, so statistics do not frighten me. That said, this book should have been great. Instead, it was written clunky and tedious. The setup for the legends were only as good as the quotes pulled from the memoirs or other original source materials and were invariably followed up with little more than "let's see about that..." and dry, dry, dry fact checking with little to no levity.
Jul 13, 2008 rated it liked it
The author researched the tall tales told by and about ballplayers since the beginning of baseball. It was interesting to read the stories as they were told by the ball players but the author's input after researching it was pretty dry and boring. Although it was interesting I can't give it more than three stars... I fell asleep a few times while reading it.
Andrew Neil
Apr 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was definitely my favorite of Rob's "Big Books" and a fun read overall. It's best digested in small doses, because otherwise the process--story, background, analysis, result--can get a little repetetive. I'd certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys old baseball stories and tall tales.
May 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
You know, I have to say this book was fairly boring. And I'm a Neyer guy who loves baseball. But 300 pages of debunking intricacies of baseball stories, most of which are > 60-years-old? Kinda of tiresome.
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
If you are a big baseball fan, you will love this book. Lots and lots of fun, and an awesome trip through the intersection of baseball lore and modern baseball research, but only for baseball geeks...
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: x2012-13-season
A critical examination of baseball legend, folklore, and oral history. Interesting for student of both baseball and history for the methodology, the analysis, and the interpretation of stories about Ruth, Gehrig, Dean, Wagner and others.
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very fun book. The stories are very entertaining on their own, but the fact checking and stories that come from the research make it even more enjoyable. All baseball fans should check this book out.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
Entertaining, but not indispensable.
Jun 05, 2008 rated it liked it
The very definition of a coffee table book. Great read when you have a few spare moments.
Doug Howgate
Jun 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
My favorite of the Neyer Big books.
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
A fun read that reinforces the truth that old-timers can't help but make crap up. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
rated it liked it
Jun 21, 2009
David Martinez
rated it it was amazing
Dec 11, 2011
rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2010
rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2011
Jourdin Shiloh
rated it did not like it
Nov 13, 2011
rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2011
rated it liked it
Apr 13, 2008
rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2010
rated it it was ok
Dec 12, 2008
rated it liked it
Jan 30, 2009
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers: An Historical Compendium of Pitching, Pitchers, and Pitches
  • The Pitch That Killed
  • The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych
  • The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics
  • Sports Illustrated Baseball's Greatest
  • Nice Guys Finish Last
  • The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball
  • Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Nine Innings
  • The Long Ball: The Summer of '75 -- Spaceman, Catfish, Charlie Hustle, and the Greatest World Series Ever Played
  • The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World
  • Baseball
  • The Umpire Strikes Back
  • Ty and The Babe: Baseball's Fiercest Rivals: A Surprising Friendship and the 1941 Has-Beens Golf Championship
  • Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Batter's Box
  • Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning
  • The Head Game: Baseball Seen from the Pitcher's Mound
  • Bushville Wins!: The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers Who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball

Share This Book