Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Review of "Bill Stern’s Favorite Baseball Stories," by Bill Stern

Review of

Bill Stern’s Favorite Baseball Stories, by Bill Stern

Four out of five stars

Very much sports journalism of the forties

 Published in 1949, this collection of stories reflects the sports journalism of that time. While the stories are good and give some insight into the early struggles of baseball players that eventually did very well, there is little that is negative. What there is occurs only on the playing field. Baseball was a rough game in the early years, spikes often went high and fists flew and connected.

 Some of the most interesting stories are about a few of the early umpires that did not hesitate to challenge a player or manager to a fight under the stands when the game was over. These were very tough men that never gave an inch that was not necessary. Many of the stories describe how a player was for years considered lacking in the necessary talent, only to be given another chance, one that led to a place in the baseball hall of fame.

 The legend of Ruth calling his shot is in here as it has been mythologized. Despite nearly every key witness stating that all he did was raise a finger and say that he had one strike remaining. That finger just happened to be pointing in the right direction. That sums up the theme of this book, keep the myths going “for the good of the game.”

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