#35– We Would Have Played for Nothing (various)

The count for 50 continues, although regular posting has not. Anyway, the good news is that I have several books to list. This book is a second installment in the “Baseball Oral History Project”. I read and reviewed the first, which was called “The Only Game In Town”. In this volume, baseball players from the ’50s and ’60s discuss their game, life and times.

I didn’t find this volume as interesting. As with the first book, the interviewers talked with a handful of stars and minor stars. However, with the ’50s and ’60s, there’s not the same distance from the past. The title of this book aside, baseball players were starting to make insane money by the time of the last players in the book. Once baseball was integrated, which was before these players, it was integrated. Once baseball spread to California, it ceased to be a northeastern game as it had before. Frankly, 1950s and 1960s baseball isn’t THAT horribly different from today. And accordingly, it’s not all that interesting.

I’d much rather read stories about guys who sharpened their spikes to kick people, fought with fans and umpires, couldn’t write their own names, and generally were one step above hit men in the social hierarchy. Unfortunately, most of those guys are dead, but that book was already written… it’s called “The Glory of Their Times”, and I need to read it.

Joe

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