Swing Kings: The Inside Story of Baseball’s Home Run Revolution

Jared Diamond. Morrow, $28.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-287210-4
Wall Street Journal baseball writer Diamond delivers a rollicking account of the recent shift in that most joyous and elemental moment in sports: the home run. Diamond explores how changes in how players swing the bat have resulted in record-setting numbers of home runs, leading him to conclude: “Baseball today is about one thing: power—and how to cultivate it.” But rather than digressing into statistics and data analytics, Diamond focuses on the work of such players as Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez, who, after suffering a freak injury and on the disabled list in 2013, changed his swing with the help of “hitting pioneer” Craig Wallenbrock, which resulted in multiple All-Star appearances and Silver Slugger awards. In addition to providing the background story of this swing guru, Diamond provides historical anecdotes about the cultural and strategic significance of the home run and the history of batting strategy and training, such as the famed contrast between Babe Ruth’s home-run slugging and Ty Cobb’s “small ball” game of bunting and hitting singles. Diamond also talks about his own life in amateur baseball, including a colorful story of his work to improve his swing before the annual New York vs. Boston media game. This breezy and engaging history will be a hit with baseball aficionados and casual fans alike. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/06/2019
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-287212-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-0941-1825-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-0941-1824-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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