- Taschenbuch: 368 Seiten
- Verlag: Anchor (8. März 2011)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 030747545X
- ISBN-13: 978-0307475459
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 1,9 x 20,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 19.372 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets Beneath the Stitches (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 8. März 2011
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“This is the stuff baseball fans eat up like snack food, only it’s way more nourishing. . . . The stories are marvelous, and throughout Hample maintains jaunty good humor and even class; for instance, he thanks, by name, every one of the 1,167 Major League players and coaches who have given him baseballs over the years (an interesting list in itself). Lots of fascinating illustrations, too.” —Booklist
“Brings a whole new dimension to the term ‘inside baseball.’ . . . Hample . . . provides plenty of revelations to even the most passionate follower of the game.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Hample is not simply an articulate and accessible baseball writer, he’s a zealous collector of game balls. . . . His advice on how to catch a ball at the stadium shows how meticulously he hones his hobby. Along the way there are lots of personalities and top-ten lists at the end for every active fan. All ball buffs should try to catch this one.” —Library Journal
Praise for Zack Hample's Watching Baseball Smarter:
"Insightful, engaging and funny—a treat for anyone who loves the game." —Keith Hernandez
"Hample calls himself an obsessed fan—obsessed in a good way—and the product of his torment is a funny and informative guide for all levels of fams." —Yankees Magazine
"Engaging. . . . Hample's book is both deceptive in its simplicity . . . and surprising in its range." —Fortune
"A browser's delight of a book. . . . Hample unloads a zany collection of baseball trivia, insights and 'random stuff'. . . in breezy guidebook style." —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"This isn't the first book to take on the challenge of explaining baseball intricacies, but I've never seen it done better." —Craig Smith, The Seattle Times
"Armed at neophytes and know-it-alls alike, this baseball geekfest tells you which positions are never played by lefties, why it's easier to hit when bases are loaded, which rules are the weirdest, and other arcana." —Maxim
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Zack Hample has written three books about baseball and has appeared on dozens of TV and radio shows. He has snagged more than 4,600 baseballs from 48 different major league stadiums. Hample runs a business called "Watch With Zack" and has a popular blog, The Baseball Collector, chronicling his obsession.
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He does a pretty good job of the first part, although to make it entertaining he has to pad the history of the ball quite a bit. This is understandable, as even a devoted fan's eyes will glaze over if all he's reading is a year by year diary of how Spalding or Rawlings changed the quality of the wool yarn inside their baseballs or moved the stitching process from this country to that other country. So there are stories about famous baseballs snagged by fans, or weird incidents like big leaguers who hit baseballs into the stands which struck their wives or mothers, or serious injuries to players or spectators caused by baseballs, and so on. Some of these things seem to be a bit of a stretch in a book supposed to be about the ball itself, but without them this would have been a very skinny book.
The second part, about how fans can get their hands on balls at big league games, I found less interesting simply because I cannot picture myself being as fanatical as Hample is in acquiring baseballs. Hample says he's collected over 9,000 baseballs over the years, and while I don't doubt that the techniques he describes are effective, I have to think he misses a lot of the game by spending his time trying to elbow his way into the right spot to catch a foul ball. It turns out many of the balls in his collection were hit into the stands during batting practice, or were tossed to him by a groundskeeper or a coach rather than being caught, and I guess I just don't see the thrill of getting a ball that went into the stands in batting practice after being hit by an unknown player before an unimportant game. Of course Hample has also snagged some famous balls like Barry Bonds' 724th home run, that sort of thing is impressive. Sure, I sometimes take my glove to the game depending on where I'll be sitting, but I just can't see myself running around the stands for several hours based on whether a left or right-handed power hitter is on deck--for one thing I'd spill my beer trying to emulate Hample's gymnastics.
The book is entertaining, although Hample's book Watching Baseball Smarter is a far better read. A baseball nut will enjoy "The Baseball", but it's well down the list in my baseball library.
Zack Hample is a master ballhawk. A ballhawk, by definition, is someone who is an expert at chasing down baseballs at major league baseball games (and even some spring training games). In The Baseball, Hample gives us a great look at that little white ball that we all obsess so much over. This is not a book about baseball, the game. This is a book about THE baseball.
Part One gives us a glimpse of baseballs in the news, from the souvenir craze to people who have actually been killed either by baseballs, or in the chase for them. (Fortunately, that last chapter is relatively small.) There are World Series balls, Barry Bonds home runs, Hank Aaron home runs, Sammy Sosa home runs, foul balls, various stunts by players and others, and even a chapter on "Foul Balls in Pop Culture." Unfortunately, there is a picture of Justin Bieber in that chapter.
Part Two gives us some history, with a great chapter on the evolution of the baseball, from 1847 to 2011. The interesting thing about that chapter is that there have always been controversies about the hotness of the ball, with allegations that the ball is juiced in some eras. The ball manufacturers swear that the ball has been made the same for a long time, now, with no specific changes that would make the ball hotter or less so. There is a great chapter on Rawlings and how the ball is made, followed by one about how they are stored and prepared for games, including a part about the infamous "Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud." Yes, for those who are not aware, mud is rubbed onto the surface of every single baseball used in MLB play. But not just any mud. It is secret mud, from a secret location, somewhere in New Jersey.
Finally, in Part Three, Mr. Hamble gives us some tips on how to snag baseballs, from the master, himself. There are tips about various ballparks, along with some etiquette, what to do, what not to do, what you can get away with, how to talk to the players to convince them to give you a ball, and so on. He lists his favorite ballparks for getting balls (and our local Rangers Ballpark is one of his top ten). He gives a rundown of the top 10 ballhawks that he knows about.
Bottom line is that this is just a fun book about the baseball. I learned a lot, as I read it, and I was entertained by it, as well. Hample's writing style is fun, even when describing the lengthy history of the baseball and its evolution.
I recommend this book for any true fan of the game.