cover image Spring Training

Spring Training

William Knowlton Zinsser. HarperCollins Publishers, $16.95 (197pp) ISBN 978-0-06-016059-3

This light, amiable look at the spring training camp of the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., in 1988, captures the spirit of this annual American renewal. Zinsser ( On Writing Well ) is impressed by general manager Syd Thrift, who undertook to rebuild the team but was fired after the season ended. He also looks with sympathy at manager Jim Leyland, consultant Bill Virdon, former manager and nonagenarian Hall-of-Famer Edd Roush, among others. But the book is primarily a view of the spring training phenomenon, of the smaller, more intimate playing field, of the senior citizen spectators and even the umpires who, like the players, head south to hone their skills. Baseball fans will find pleasant reading here. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)