Book Review: Red Smith on Baseball

Red Smith on Baseball

This is a collection of baseball columns from the great sports journalist Red Smith. It was AMAZING, if not a little out of season. There were many elements of this book that were solid, but my favorites were the baseball history and the creative writing style of Red Smith. He wrote about the sport in many different ways and wove a fun and fresh story with each column. When I wrote about hockey sometimes I would get writer's block based on the redundancy of watching the same kind of competition each night. Red Smith took the reader on a fun journey each time. There was something very magnetic about his writing.

Another particularly fun part of this book was all the vocabulary and talk of the times. I think I'm really into the terminology of baseball (for what reason, I'm not sure), but I love calling the ball a "pill" or a pitch a "spitter" or a left-hander a southpaw. What I like even most, though, is the little subtleties in the language of the time. My favorite years were the 1950s. The quotes were priceless and I smiled each time I heard the fans called "customers." New York City, the greatest city in the world, was highlighted throughout the book. The Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Giants and, of course, those dang Yankees. I actually felt a pinch of unexpected emotion when I read the articles during and after the California expansion, where the Brooklyn Dodgers went to L.A. and the New York Giants went to San Francisco.

The only thing that was a little tough about the book was that it was a collection of columns from a VERY removed era (in my perspective, anyway). Nonetheless, I love learning about that era, especially in the baseball lens. This book is highly recommended for anyone that wants to learn about baseball history. Also, aspiring sports journalists should know who Red Smith is.

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