Book Review: The Baseball 100

Ladies and gentlemen, listen up, because I have got a book recommendation that will knock your baseball socks off. The Baseball 100 by Joe Posnanski is an absolute home run of a book that takes readers on a journey through the history of baseball via the 100 greatest players to ever grace the diamond.

This book is a behemoth, coming in at a whopping 880 pages, but don’t let that discourage you. Every page is packed with fascinating stories, illuminating facts, and entertaining anecdotes. Posnanski’s writing style is engaging and witty, making even the driest statistics come to life.

The book starts with a foreword by the esteemed George Will, who marvels at Posnanski’s journalistic acumen and baseball knowledge. And it’s true, Posnanski must have lived at least two centuries to have amassed such a treasure trove of information about baseball and its players.

But what sets this book apart isn’t just the exhaustive research and detailed profiles of each player, but also Posnanski’s unique perspective on the game. He compares players across eras, asking questions like, “How do the career and influence of Hank Aaron compare to Babe Ruth’s?” and “Just how good a pitcher is Clayton Kershaw in the 21st-century game compared to Greg Maddux dueling with the juiced hitters of the nineties?” The answers to these questions are fascinating and reveal a depth of knowledge that only a true lover of the game could possess.

Posnanski doesn’t shy away from controversial topics either. He devotes a significant portion of the book to the players of the segregated Negro Leagues, giving them the attention and respect they deserve. He doesn’t sugarcoat the racism and discrimination they faced, but he also celebrates their incredible talent and the impact they had on the game. It’s clear that Posnanski believes that the history of baseball isn’t complete without these players, and I couldn’t agree more.

One of the things I love most about this book is that it’s not just about stats and records. Posnanski dives into the players’ personal lives and backgrounds, making them feel like real people rather than just names on a leaderboard. He shares stories of their triumphs and struggles, their rivalries and friendships, and their impact on the game and the culture surrounding it. As someone who is not a die-hard baseball fan, I found myself completely engrossed in these stories and eager to learn more.

In conclusion, The Baseball 100 is a true masterpiece of sports writing. It’s a book that will appeal not just to baseball fans, but to anyone who appreciates great writing and compelling storytelling. Joe Posnanski has crafted a book that is both comprehensive and accessible, informative and entertaining. So grab a hot dog, a cold beer, and a copy of The Baseball 100, and settle in for a summer of pure baseball bliss.
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Price: $16.99
(as of Mar 26,2023 09:36:45 UTC – Details)

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