It sometimes seems unfair that publications like Sports Illustrated can simply reach into 50 years-worth of archives at any time and pull a gem out of their metaphorical hat. Such is the case with their new tome on baseball.
The text is supplied by some of the best sportswriters around, including several from SI’s own masthead, like Tom Verducci, Robert Creamer, Frank Deford, and Rick Reilly, as well as other noteworthy scribes including Roger Kahn, Leigh Montville and George Plimpton. At less than 300 pages, words and pictures (after all the name of the magazine is Sports Illustrated), The Baseball Book is a compact but thorough rendition of the game at its best.
The highlights of the edition — which features essays on Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Stan Musial, Ted Williams and Vladimir Guerrero, among others — are the decade-by-decade breakdowns and SI’s All Time All-Stars. A book like this isn’t simply read; it’s meant to be savored. And the winter, with several dark and cold weeks remaining until the new season kicks off, is the perfect time to start enjoying it
(This review appeared on JanuaryMagazine.com)