Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Baseball

Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Baseball

Howard Bryant

Philomel 2015

228 pp.    $16.99

Nonfiction-Baseball

ISBN 978-0-399-16903-8

 

This nonfiction book introduces contemporary young people to the legends of baseball from previous generations.  Organized into three sections—Spring, Summer, and Fall—the text brings to life notable individuals, teams, situations, and triumphs in highly readable prose.

 

The Spring section focuses on individuals, most of whom will probably not be well known to young people learning about the history and traditions of the game.  This section offers brief but thorough portraits of Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Sandie Koufax, Henry Aaron, and Rickey Henderson.  Obviously, this section could be much longer and could include any number of other notable figures from the rich history of baseball in America, but it is hard to argue with the players chosen for inclusion.

 

The Summer section is devoted primarily to special teams such as the Oakland A’s from the early 1970s and the 1993 San Francisco Giants.  One brief chapter is devoted to the home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, and this discussion walks the line between the ever-present need to idolize home run hitters and the steroid scandal that has irrevocably tarnished the McGwire-Sosa drama that seemed so special at the time. 

 

Finally, the Fall section is devoted to memorable World Series, including one section devoted to Mr. October, Reggie Jackson.  Sandwiched between chapters are high-interest top ten lists related to the content of the narrative.

 

Reviewed by Todd Goodson

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS