From the sandlots of San Francisco to the major league diamonds of the USA, Joe Cronin made his way, Horatio Alger fashion, to achieve status in the Hall of Fame and to become one of the most expensive ball players of all time. Mr. Hirshberg has written more of a career diary than a biography, focusing on each year of Cronin's climb to the top. The promising fielder for the Pirates in 1926 goes on to star for the Senators in 1930 and to inspire and manage the Red Sox in 1946. Not every year could be chalked up as a smash hit for Cronin. There were minor and serious injuries to contend with, untrained teammates to discipline and the element of luck to swing in the right direction. The descriptive play by play treatment given here will appeal to fans intent on achieving expert status.