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Clearing the Bases: The Greatest Baseball Debates of the Last Century

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3.52  ·  Rating details ·  50 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Who was better, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays? At their peak, who was more valuable, Joe DiMaggio or Ted Williams? If Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, and Roger Clemens had pitched at the same time against the same hitters, who would have won the most games? If Jackie Robinson had been white, would he be deserving of the Hall of Fame? Who was the greatest all-around player of the ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Bison Books (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Paul
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baseball fans will love this, although you can get bogged down in the numbers.
Zach Koenig
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In recent years, books like this one (or "thinking books", as I like to call them) have seen an explosion in popularity. Instead of just biographies of old baseball stars or waxing nostalgic about "the good old days", these books throw all the past perceptions out the window and start fresh, crunching the numbers to make interesting observations about arguable topics.

"Clearing the Bases" is, by and large, a success in this category. Author Allen Barra tackles such notions (among others) as:

-Jack
...more
Gary Geiger
I disagree about this, but I am a Boston fan. Anyways, here goes: There is a case to be made that Joe DiMaggio was a better player than Ted Williams. But I don't think Barra made it here. You could argue that DiMaggio's all-around play edged Williams's superior hitting when each was at the top of his game. But Barra focuses on intangible qualities of DiMaggio. Sorry, but I am not buying it. I would like to see him make a stronger case for it.
Pistol Pete
A fine read to spark debate, but there seemed to be a typo per chapter. Perhaps the WSJ editors are better than the Thomas Dunne Books editors. It was interesting fodder, but there have been other books of similar ilk I enjoyed more.
Joel
Feb 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Unorthodox opinions supported by the numbers. There were just too many numbers.
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