The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime

Michael Duca, Author, Jason Turbow, Author . Pantheon $25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-375-42469-4

Nearly as long as baseball has existed in its current form, so too have unofficial rules that professional players have strictly adhered to. Yet as Turnbow demonstrates in this highly entertaining read, every rule of the code has certain variations. Most casual baseball fans are keenly aware of many topics that Turnbow broaches, and some are universally agreed upon—hitters admiring home runs is severely frowned on, as is arguing with one’s manager in public view and being caught stealing signs. But other rules are less cut-and-dried. On the subject of retaliating for a teammate being hit by a pitch: some believe the pitcher should be plunked in his next at-bat, while others say it should be a player with corresponding talent to the hit batter. Turnbow has an example for nearly every conceivable situation, and with quotes from dozens of former major league players, managers, and broadcasters, the reader can better understand the actions that can set off even the most even-tempered ball player. It’s a comprehensive, sometimes hilarious guide to perhaps a misunderstood aspect of our national pastime, and will come in handy should one ever be involved in a beanball war. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/11/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
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Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-307-37901-6
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