Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract

Mary A. Wirth, Author, Bill James, Author Villard Books $29.95 (721p) ISBN 978-0-394-53713-9
The national pastime's most eminent statistician and the author of the annual Bill James Baseball Abstract here brings his formidable background to a history of the game, a must for fans. He begins with a decade-by-decade survey from 1870 through 1979, emphasizing the ethos of the sport (for example, the rowdyism of the 1890s) in each period. There are also brief sidebars on oddities and happenings outside the mainstream, including several by James's wife, Susan McCarthy, on changes in uniforms. The second section focuses on the players, with ratings position by position and a list of the game's 100 greatest players, determined by their value at their peak and through their entire careers. Finally, there is an examination of major players, whom James assesses by dozens of criteria. Contributor Jim Carothers opines in a footnote that ""if the last library in the world were on fire,'' The Baseball Encyclopedia would be the book to save. Not so. The one at hand is as informative, and a lot more fun to read. Photos. Preferred Choice Bookplan selection; BOMC alternate. January
Reviewed on: 12/02/1985
Release date: 12/01/1985
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