Thursday, March 31, 2011

Turbow, Jason w/Michael Duca The Baseball Codes

Turbow, Jason w/Michael Duca The Baseball Codes
Pantheon see Random 2010 294p 25.00
978-0-375-42469-4 hs/adult Baseball; Baseball - rules E-BN

Clues readers in to a value system that is part of the baseball culture, through dozens of illustrative stories from baseball history. Turbow and Dura take readers behind the scenes of the Great American Pastime and explain the unwritten rules of baseball through dozens of anecdotes from the earliest days of baseball through contemporary games. While some of the tenets -- “never talk to a pitcher during a no-hitter” and “what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse” -- are familiar to baseball fans, others will be new to most readers.

Entertaining, insightful, and engaging, this well-researched and comprehensive survey reveals intricate details about major league baseball culture. The prose reads like a sports column -- which is hardly surprising since both authors are West Coast sportswriters.

Sports fans face a barrage of sports media stories detailing un-sportsman-like conduct, moral and ethical off-the-field improprieties, and high-maintenance personalities. Balancing this out is this team of authors’ exploration of the pranks and superstitions of the richly nuanced game of baseball. Don’t read it all at once! After reading the book, readers will be constantly alert for signs of “the Code” at work when they watch their next game.

Only one quibble: The section on cheating has an obvious omission -- it fails to address steroid abuse. Welliver, Hilary

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