Two Spectacular Seasons: 1930--The Year the Hitters Ran Wild, 1968--The Year the Pitchers Took Revenge

William B. Mead, Author
William B. Mead, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $18.95 (245p) ISBN 978-0-02-583731-7
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
The virtually infinite variability of baseball is demonstrated in this intriguing, unusual and entertaining volume. Mead ( Baseball Goes to War ) compares the major league seasons of 1930, the year of the hitter, and 1968, the year of the pitcher. In the former, the batting average for the entire National League was .303, with New York Giant Bill Terry hitting .401 and Chicago Cubs Hack Wilson batting in 190 runs. In 1968 Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLaine won 31 games and St. Louis Cardinals hurler Bob Gibson had the lowest earned run average of the century, 1.12. But the book is not a dry compilation of statistics: Mead analyzes trends in the game between the '20s and '60s and changes in the ball and the height of the pitcher's mound, and presents the personalities who added drama to the sport, from the feisty, acerbic John McGraw, manager of the New York Giants in the early '20s, to the flamboyant McLaine. (Mar.)
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