The Only Game in Town: Baseball Stars of the 1930s and 1940s Talk About the Game They Loved

Fay Vincent, Author . Simon & Schuster $26 (243p) ISBN 978-0-7432-7317-6

This first entry in an ambitious, multivolume oral history of baseball compiled by former commissioner Vincent collects the memories of 10 notable players from the 1930s and '40s. The tone is primarily upbeat, as when Dominic DiMaggio—one of the almost-as-talented but often forgotten brothers of Joe—sticks to the sunny side: "I think it's just a wonderful, wonderful game." The athletes have a forgivable tendency to ramble down memory lane and avoid deep analysis, often simply offering play-by-plays of famous games. Not surprisingly, then, it's the early integrators and Negro League pros like Larry Doby whose comments make the best reading; their stories have a drama and gravitas that some of the others lack. Vincent did not impose structure on his subjects, and there are a few redundancies in the narrative (although the twice-told story of Hank Greenberg storming into the White Sox locker room and calling out whoever made anti-Semitic remarks during the game is worth repeating). Dedicated fans stand to gain the most from this nostalgic spin through one slice of baseball history. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/06/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-7432-8864-4
Paperback - 243 pages - 978-0-7432-7318-3
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