Cult Baseball Players: The Greats, the Flakes, the Weird, and the Wonderful

Danny Peary, Author, Danny Perry, Editor Simon & Schuster $12.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-67172-3
These 59 eclectic vignettes cover the gamut of professional baseball players--from the Superstar Legend (Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays) to the Solid Major Leaguer (Vada Pinson, Lou Piniella, Roger Maris) to the Certified Flake (Bill Lee, Jimmy Piersall). Written by a motley all-star group (among them, novelists Elmore Leonard and Hilma Wolitzer, talk show host Larry King, film critic Andrew Sarris, scientist Stephen Jay Gould and TV sports announcer Tim McCarver), these essays capture the scope of a game that is not always centered on the star athlete. In fact, the most appealing entries are about such figures as Moe Berg, a third-string catcher for 15 major-league seasons, who was also a brilliant intellect and OSS operative; Joe Charboneau, who could drink beer through his nose; and Marvelous Marv Throneberry, the first-baseman mascot of the dreadful 1962 New York Mets. Peary's (365 Sports-Facts-a-Year-Calendar) anthology is wide-ranging, informative and fun. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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