A Donald Honig Reader

Donald Honig, Author Simon & Schuster $12.95 (658p) ISBN 978-0-671-66339-1
Baseball historian Ritter reminds us in his foreword that ``the best thing about baseball today is its yesterdays.'' And this wonderful collection of 50 profiles, which were previously published in Baseball When the Grass Was Real , Baseball Between the Lines (both reproduced here in their entirety), The October Heroes and The Man in the Dugout , takes a nostalgic look at a more innocent age. In this work, compiled much like Studs Terkel's oral histories, we hear from the greats and the near-greats; the stories of Hall of Famers like Feller, Kiner and Mize are always interesting, but memories of the less renowned ballplayers are fascinating. Clyde Sukeforth, who worked for Branch Rickey (the most oft-repeated name, both sacredly and sacrilegiously, in this thick volume), tells of scouting Jackie Robinson and snatching the young Roberto Clemente from the Brooklyn Dodgers on a contractual technicality. Tommy Henrich recalls two great World Series moments: Mickey Owen's missed third strike and Cookie Lavagetto's shot that broke up Bill Bevens's no-hitter. We learn that ballplayers were not exactly altar boys from Kirby Higbe; we see the tragedy of injury-shortened careers in the accounts of Pete Reiser and Herb Score. And ``Cool Papa'' Bell and Monte Irvin offer their intense recollections of the Negro Leagues and the era before baseball was integrated. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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