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The Roar of the Crowd: Conversations With an Ex-Big-Leaguer
The Roar of the Crowd Conversations With an Ex-Big-Leaguer Author:W. R. Burnett This is a book about baseball. Although presented as the frank and pungent conversations and opinions of an old-time player, it actually is an examination of those ideas and attitudes that make baseball great and uniquely American. The speaker comments on a wide variety of topics, among them the fickleness of fans, how statistics can be manipula... more »ted and misinterpreted, the value of pitching, the nightmare of the slump, and many others.
If you are or have ever been a baseball fan or wondered what it was like to be one, you will learn more from the Old Timer about the game and its values and you will gain more insights into and understanding of the game's fine points than you can in any way other than playing big-league baseball -- and you will be delighted in the process.
From the introductory chapter:
The Old Timer, a small, rather gnarled, intelligent-looking man in his early seventies, was one of the few baseball players of his era with a college background. Now he is a small-town lawyer and politician. In his heyday he had been a pretty good shortstop and had served as a utility infielder for three major-league teams over the years, after a stretch or two in the minors. He was, he said, "Good field, no hit." And for this reason it was hard for him to forget a home run he had once hit off of Smoky Joe Wood. He'd told me about it at least a dozen times. "And on the dead ball, too," he always added.
He was not impressed by modern home-run records, including Ruth's and Maris's. "Everybody's a home-run hitter now," he explained. "Some little squirt with one of those thin-handled, buggy-whip bats is liable to slam the ball out of the park on Ford, Lary, or Pascual -- and blow a game for them. On the dead ball this wasn't true. A banjo hitter was a banjo hitter in those days.."« less