First-rate nostalgia as film/baseball historian Peary collects 60 short essays on notable ballplayers from a host of starry-eyed, often unexpected, fans. Among the contributors: Elmore Leonard (on ace hitter George Kell); John Sayles on slugger Dick Stuart (""Big guys [Stuart was 6'4""] can't field much maybe, can't run much, strike out a lot, but when they got hold of one--forget it. Downtown""); actor Joe Mantegna on Hall of Famer Ernie Banks; Stephen Jay Gould on ""an alcoholic utility outfielder"" named Dusty Rhodes; film-maker Ron Shelton, former minor-leaguer and director of Bull Durham, on Steve Dalkowski, the fastest pitcher ever (""In Wilson, North Carolina, he threw a wild pitch through the welded mesh screen sixty feet behind the catcher. Thirty years later the hole in the screen is still there""). Peary concludes with an essay on, and interview with, his own boyhood baseball idol, former Yankee Vic Power. In all: an affectionate, entertaining tribute.