Who’s on Worst: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History

Filip Bondy. Doubleday, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-53612-7
New York Daily News sportswriter Bondy offers a compendium of the lore that has elevated baseball to religious status. The title—a play on the Abbott and Costello vaudeville skit, “Who’s on First?”—is an appropriate summary of a sport that is “all about failure.” Bondy mixes humor with fact and a fan’s passion in unearthing those who have contributed their talents. He reaches back to the 19th century for Frederick “Crazy” Schmit (a pitcher who kept notes on hitters and “quite often pulled out his notebook on the mound”), while not shying away from today’s stars. The narrative is divided into chapters like “Too Fat to Bat,” and “What’s an Emery Board?” about pitchers who thought they could use a little help. Deft turns of phrases about players such as Dave DeBusschere, who “wasted his baseball talent winning NBA titles,” lend irony to an already amusing look at players who have “elevated failure, or folly, to fresh, artful levels.” Photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/10/2012
Release date: 03/26/2013
Paperback - 252 pages - 978-0-307-95041-3
Open Ebook - 182 pages - 978-0-385-53613-4
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