Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti” as Want to Read:
A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  43 reviews
With a foreword by David Halberstam. He spoke out against player trading. He banned Pete Rose from baseball for gambling. He even asked sports fans to clean up their acts. Bart Giamatti was baseball's Renaissance man and its commissioner. In A GREAT AND GLORIOUS GAME, a collection of spirited, incisive essays, Giamatti reflects on the meaning of the game. Baseball, for him ...more
Paperback, 121 pages
Published January 4th 1998 by Algonquin Books
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 A Great and Glorious Game, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Great and Glorious Game

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  240 ratings  ·  43 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti
Colin O'Grady
May 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a soul
Shelves: baseball
Everything you would expect from a man who was a comp lit professor, President of Yale, and Commissioner of baseball... maybe I'm biased because he combines my two passions--literature and baseball--but I have never found anyone who could put their finger on the ineffable transcendence of baseball the way that Giamatti could. In these essays, you get a picture of a man that loved baseball and life equally. The opening paragraph of "The Green Fields of the Mind" captures the game like nothing els ...more
Steve Kettmann
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
My review from the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998:

A. Bartlett Giamatti: Baseball's Great Mind -- and Heart
REVIEWED BY, Steve Kettmann

Sunday, July 5, 1998

By A. Bartlett Giamatti

Edited by Kenneth S. Robson Algonquin; 121 pages; $15.95

If you're sick of the sad spectacle of watching Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud Selig carry on as baseball's clown-commissioner, take a look at this fascinating lit
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A Great and Glorious Game is a small book, but it is "great and glorious." Filling only 121 pages, it includes a handful of articles, speeches and press releases from a previous Commissioner of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti. I did not know, when I picked up this little book, that Mr. Giamatti was the Commissioner who made the decision to ban Pete Rose from baseball for life. The press release concerning that decision is the final writing in this book, and was written only a week before his deat ...more
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Though A Great and Glorious Game is just 120 small pages, I read it over the course of a week, choosing to enjoy each essay separately rather than devouring the book in a single afternoon. My thinking: The book is a posthumous collection of separate pieces; Giamatti never intended for these works, published over 12 years, to be bound together into a single volume. Also, proceeding slowly allowed me to appreciate Giamatti's recurring themes and core arguments about baseball. I'm guessing that rea ...more
Theo Logos
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Great And Glorious Game belongs to the sub genre of erudite men writing about baseball. Giamatti, who was president of Yale prior to serving as president of the National League and briefly as baseball's commissioner, waxes poetically about the game, complete with references and allusions to Henry James, Jane Austin, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Odysseus.
At times Giamatti seems to trip over his own eloquence, and perhaps because this collection was assembled from his writings after his untimely
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A. Bartlett Giamatti, professor of English, president of Yale, president of the National League, commissioner of baseball, banisher of Pete Rose and father of Paul Giamatti, brought an academic sensibility to the game of baseball -- which is to say passionate, erudite, cerebral, eloquent. Decades before Ken Burns' polyphonic documentary -- many voices speaking the collective (collected) thoughts of one voice -- espoused how baseball mirrors the national character, there were Giamatti's writings. ...more
Kev Willoughby
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Regardless of your affinity for baseball, this is an eloquent read. A Great and Glorious Game is a collection of essays (and one press release) that were written by the late Bart Giamatti, known most in academic circles as a president and alumnus of Yale University, where he received multiple degrees in literature. Giamatti is also quite well-known as a former commissioner of Major League Baseball, and specifically as the official who banished Pete Rose from baseball for life. Giamatti passed aw ...more
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves baseball. Actually, anyone who even likes baseball.
Recommended to Nan by: Nikii
Shelves: baseball
Any baseball fan should have this book. A collection of nine of the late, lamented Commissioner's writings on baseball, it is especially notable for two of them.

One is his statement on Pete Rose, released upon Rose's banishment from baseball. There is no bashing, no name-calling, no never-darken-our-door-again attitude. There is a concise outline of the events leading up to the banishment. And there is grief. Grief over the loss of a fine player through his own decisions and actions, grief over
Craig Werner
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
Charming book of occasional pieces by the former president of the National League and, for a very short time Commissioner. Giamatti was an academic who served as President of Yale, but his primary love was for baseball and it shows. Like many baseball writers, he writes in a romantic mode, waxing poetic on baseball, the American character, and the search for "home." He's near-medieval in his appreciation of the numerology and geometry of the game--fours and threes, circles and squares--, a tende ...more
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This short book--A GREAT AND GLORIOUS GAME: BASEBALL WRITINGS OF A. BARTLETT GIAMATTI--is one of the most engaging and thoughtful books I've read on any subject. The topic, of course, is baseball, and the author is the late A. Bartlett Giamatti, a scholar, a former president of Yale, and the Commissioner of Major League Baseball at the time of his death in 1989.

Giamatti writes with the wisdom of a scholar and with the fluency of one who loves the English language as much as he loves baseball. T
Andrew Kubasek
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed
Likely the best writing about baseball ever composed. Giamatti was, debatably, the best commissioner in baseball history. He is, easily, the most articulate and most educated commissioner of all time. His elegantly expresses what makes baseball the national pastime and explains why it must be held to a higher standard than just a sport. He connects baseball to the human condition, to the Bible and mythology, and to the nature of the American spirit, but does so without losing sight of the fact t ...more
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
The end of baseball's regular season is always a bit of a bleak time for me. What better way to commemorate it than by plugging Bart Giamatti's famous and wonderful collection of essays, A Great and Glorious Game. He starts, "It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall ...more
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
Bart Giamatti served as baseball commissioner for a very brief time. Mostly remembered for banishing Pete Rose for life. But Giamatti was far more than a brief commissioner. He was also President of Yale University, a lover of literature, and a moralist. The essays in this book reveal Giamatti's values and how he expected baseball to live up to them. A sentimentalist as well, Giamatti loved the game.

These essays are a beautiful reminder of what we fell in love with.
Sally Mouzon
Sep 21, 2015 rated it liked it
The writing is lovely, and some of the pieces are truly charming. I am not sure that it works as a book, as there is a sameness to most of the pieces. One or two would work in any anthology (my favorite is "Recall as the Series Ends, the Afternoon of the Fall"), but it seems like too much of a good thing in one volume.
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bart Giamatti, the former Commissioner of Baseball, the man who issued the lifetime ban against Pete Rose for betting on games, wrote a handful of very fine essays about his favorite sport. The best of these have been collected into a slender book that you can easily read at one sitting. Read "The Green Fields of the Mind" out loud to a fellow baseball fan. It's heavenly.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best baseball books I've read. In addition to being one of the game's greatest commissioners, Bart Giamatti was also a scholar, a philosopher, and a poet. This book was especially meaningful to me, as Paul Giamatti is one of my favorite actors.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Qualifier: I hold Mr. Giamatti in high esteem and admire the ideals and integrity he brought to his stewardship of MLB.

However..the quality and engaging essays on baseball contained within this collection could be included in a pamphlet rather than a book. There is very little insightful reading here to legitimize distribution of a book that asks a purchaser to shell out the best portion of a twenty dollar bill to take ownership. This feels like a money grab by the publisher and the developers o
Matt Ely
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
You're almost certainly reading this because of Giamatti's "Green Field of the Mind" essay, which opens the collection. At times, the author is able to recapture that level of heightened poetry, but it's not consistent. There's just not enough material to really create a unified impression. And although he has one paragraph that baseball fans quote with a sigh every September, the rest doesn't quite click as well. It's short and enjoyable, but not something I'll be inclined to return to in depth ...more
Tim Glenn
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Giamatti's conservatism, or the conservatism of his time, screams off the pages at times, making the book feel dated. But can you expect something else from a collections of essays on baseball that were written from the 1950s to 1989? Otherwise, this is a very enjoyable read for baseball fans who have deep connections (or want to consider deep connections) to the game.
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in baseball, but especially those with a preference for it
Shelves: reviewed, sports
It seems fitting to do a review of A Great & Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti just after the Chicago Cubs have gained a 7th game victory in the World Series, their first World Series since 1945 & the first one where they were victorious since 1908, concluding rather a long stretch of futility. But as diehard Cubs fans like to say, "Any team can have a bad century!"

This is a book that, while somewhat narrowly focused & which might not interest anyone who does not find foll
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2008, collections, sports
Mr. Giamatti not only has a way with words - he's also one of the most vocal and loyal baseball fans in the history of the sport. He was also Commissioner for a while, and one of his rulings (regarding a player's challenge of a fine/suspension) is included in here - and is a good read, for a legal document about rules in professional sports.

However, there's a reason why The Green Fields of the Mind is the Giamatti piece that's always quoted. First, because it's gorgeous and sad and beautifully w
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
I had much higher hopes for these essays by late MLB commissioner/Yale president Bart Giamatti (father of actor Paul) who died just a week after banning Pete Rose for life. Everything here is totally eloquent, and really quite quaint. Giamatti was a gentleman fan of the first order, and his vision of baseball and its abstractions are rooted firmly in a pre-steroids/pre-"Moneyball" era. Loved "Baseball as Narrative," one of the only extended pieces, and it's nice to have "Green Fields of the Mind ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Some gems in here, but by the end I was just tired of the overwrought sentimentalism regarding what is, in the end, only a game. Giamatti was hardly the first - and certainly not the last - to freight baseball with a tremendous amount of baggage, but on balance this kind of moralizing has real consequences. The lifelong ban of Pete Rose, for example, whose punishment by now surely outweighs whatever damage he did to "The Game." The moralizing surrounding steroid users, usually by the same people ...more
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was so much fun to read. I wish it were about 300 pages longer, though. There are only a few, short pieces in this collection. Not only does the late Giamatti write with eloquence, but he also shows how baseball ties in with higher concepts of fairness, equality, the concept of freedom, and nostalgia. In fact one of his essays has about four paragraphs in it in which he makes the best case I have ever read on why people still root for their old home teams, even though they don't live there ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball
A great book by a man who was Commissioner of Baseball for far too brief a time, presupposing the mediocrity of Bud Selig. An almost poetic take on America's original game, predating the football or soccer eras, and much more erudite than you'll ever get out of Mr. Selig. I wish he had lived longer, he might have done much more to repopularize the game.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Keeper of the Field of Dreams
Former Yale President and Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti illuminates the symmetry, grace, logic and longing played across the diamond green field.
Aware of the weeds but never in them, Giamatti writes of our better angels.
Baseball and America are about going home and so is this transcendent inspiring little book.
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Articulate, insightful, and incredibly thought-provoking. Commissioner Giammati's essays are a prime example of why baseball is more than a game in our American culture, and why there re lessons to be learned that far transcend box scores and standings.
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for those with even an inkling of an interest in baseball. Giamatti is a compelling writer, and his idealism in and passion for America's sport shines brightly. This is going right on my favorites!
Ken French
Dec 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Whenever I'm down over the end of the baseball season, reading "The Green Fields of the Mind" helps me get through it.
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Giamatti's writing's on baseball and its relation to life. It makes you think!
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wait Till Next Year
  • Morrissey vs. Poole: Politics, Prizefighting and the Murder of Bill the Butcher
  • A Civil War: Army vs. Navy - A Year Inside College Football's Purest Rivalry
  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America
  • In the Time of Bobby Cox: The Atlanta Braves, Their Manager, My Couch, Two Decades, and Me
  • Of Mikes and Men: A Lifetime of Braves Baseball
  • Built to Win: Inside Stories and Leadership Strategies from Baseball's Winningest GM
  • The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
  • Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar
  • Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence
  • The Last Best League: One Summer, One Season, One Dream
  • They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
  • Pete Rose: An American Dilemma
  • They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived
  • Ball Four
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
  • Play Ball: The Life and Troubled Times of Major League Baseball
  • Life on the Run
See similar books…
Angelo Bartlett "Bart" Giamatti was an American professor of English Renaissance literature, the president of Yale University, and the seventh Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Related Articles

Here in the United States, it's football season. It's time of great rivalry, wearing of team colors, and obsessing over the late...
8 likes · 12 comments