I read 2.33 baseball books while I was on vacation

2.jpgI took three books on my L.A. vacation but didn't quite have time to get through all of them.

So my mini-review of Marty Appel's new bio of Thurman Munson will have to wait.

I did read "Miracle Ball," Brian Biegel's account of his quest to solve the biggest mystery in sports memorabilia:

What happened to the ball Bobby Thomson hit to win the 1951 pennant?

Biegel weaves his personal story - and the story of his personal demons - into the tale, which despite some leaps of faith, logic and evidence makes for an oddly compelling read.

Still, even at a modest 227 pages, there are places the spy story feels padded.

This is a worthwhile book, but it likely would have been even better boiled down to the essentials as a magazine article.

"Pull Up a Chair," Curt Smith's bio of Vin Scully, has the same pros and cons as his recent look at Mel Allen's life in "The Voice."

Smith knows as much as anyone about sports broadcasters, and there is plenty of valuable information here.

But his bizarre syntax, tortured historical references and goofy word choices distract from his content.

Comments (4)

Magazine article?
What the hell is that and where can I find one?
Haven't seen one of those since ...oh...hmmm....didn't Jane Goodall write a very melancholic/nostalgic one about our ancestors for National Geographic once upon a time?

You're showing your creeping social insecuity issues again Neil.

Now go outside and chase those kids off the lawn.


Speaking of bizarre syntax, tortured references and general goofiness, can you please diagram this sentence for us?

"This is a worthwhile book, but it likely would have been even better boiled down to the essentials as a magazine article."

I'm going to track down Miracle Ball. I know the same events were the backdrop to Don DeLillo's Underworld, perhaps the only baseball book ever written which I started and just couldn't finish.

Curt Smith is a Rochester guy (Geneseo, actually), and I respect his baseball smarts, but his pedigree writing speeches for Bush Daddy takes a bit of the bloom off.

Smith wrote a terrific book on the history of baseball broadcasting, but it was too long. He needed a better editor then, as we all do! But since then, his books have degenerated. They generally consist of solid research, strangely written.

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