Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books (October 25, 2016)
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #636,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #38 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Sports Memorabilia & Cards > Sports Cards #1311 in Books > Sports & Outdoors > Baseball
This is one of those coffee table books that makes a perfect middle present (the one between the socks, and the new TV) for any holiday/birthday, etc. It's visually dramatic, lots of big pictures, and interesting text that's provided in easily digestible sections that can be read in any order. You open it, and while cousin Jimmy is crying about his socks, you can read a chapter on Satchel Paige.As for buying it for yourself, I don't think it's that kind of book - but that's not a criticism. If you're a dedicated baseball fan, a lot of this won't be new information, and while the photos are neat, they are simply of uniforms. So you probably won't get much out of it.But if you're struggling for a gift idea - this is tailor made. It wouldn't matter if the recipient knew most of the information, they'll still see something new. And as a recipient, they don't have to care if they got their "money's worth" or not. We all know these coffee table books - it's not the information as much as the unique visual presentation and this succeeds.As for the baseball stories, while I did know most of them, I didn't know all of it. And I appreciated attention on the Negro baseball leagues, and the superstars like Satchel Paige or Hank Aaron that played for them first. It's not new, but it was good that the book directed some attention there. I would have included Pedro Martinez and not Randy Johnson, but I'm a Boston fan. But it's not meant to be all-inclusive, but a snapshot of several eras.Back to my gift point - this is the sort of book I'd never buy for myself. But if somebody gave it to me, I'd be like "hey, this is something I didn't expect," and for that it was well put together.
This is an incredible book of sports history. Tying together key artifacts from baseball history with the stories of the men who wore them, this book sheds light on legends, many of whom have never been heard of even by the most ardent baseball fans. And of course, in the later pages more present day heroes and more familiar names are tied to their equipment. The contrast is not without purpose. In the process, this book sheds light on history of the game, the places it has been played and the people who have played it.The book is divided into eras. So it not only covers baseball, but also the world it existed in. Uniforms from the wars that tore men from the games are also pictured here.And the pictures also act as key elements of this book. Not only are the stories well written in a simple, direct and beautiful way; the pictures speak just as loudly. The artifacts are presented in a plain beautiful directness all their own.This is a book to be enjoyed many times over. I am glad to have had the pleasure of reading and enjoying it. I wish the same for any fan of baseball or history, and definitely for those who are fans of both.
We are big baseball fans in this family and have bled Dodger Blue for many years. When I saw this book available for review I was very much looking forward to reading it.The book itself is as promised, filled with the photos of uniforms of some of the more famous and colorful players from years past. But that's not all that we see; there's also various illustrations and pictures showing teams, posters, signed balls, newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, etc that add to the stories that accompany them.The stories themselves are often so fascinating and many of them new to me. Even though I knew a little bit of the story, I especially enjoyed reading about Eddie Waitkus, who's story (and shooting by a female stalker) inspired Bernard Malamud's book The Natural, and subsequent movie staring Robert Redford.There are so many photos and great stories and I highly recommend this for anyone who loves the game and the personal stories that make up the history of baseball.
Others have commented on the fact that the photos of the uniforms are black and white. Yes, they are . . . in the uncorrected proof. I took the liberty of contacting the marketing department for "Game Worn," and was told that the book will be published in full color. That makes a huge difference, because the photos are wonderful but not very eye-catching in black and white. In color, it will be amazing.Each uniform is accompanied by a story (at least a page-length) of the player who wore the uniform and when they wore the particular one being shown. It's more about the players than the uniforms, but the uniforms are the unifying theme. I love how they did that. The stories themselves were well-written, filled lots of interesting details that I'm sure my baseball nut of a husband will find engrossing. I did, and I'm not a fan of the sport.
The finished copy of this book should be quite enjoyable. My unfinished review copy bites. My photos are bland, but the accompanying side stories tell an amazing categorization of legendary baseball tales from the past, and I'm certain they will be all that much more mezmerizing when the full color deal comes out. It's not always about just the players; sometimes these rare treasures have a spotlight of their own within baseball's history.If you're a fan of baseball, and are looking for an interesting coffee table book that you or your guests can pick up at any point within the text for some fascinating reading, this is an excellent book.
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