Some of the greatest baseball players have been able to sustain their distinguished championship performances because they...

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YOUNG BASEBALL CHAMPIONS

Some of the greatest baseball players have been able to sustain their distinguished championship performances because they were good enough to start playing in the majors while they were still under twenty-one. The examples described here in brief biographical sketches are Joe Di Maggio, Hank Aaron, Bob Feller, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Mel Ott, Don Drysdale, and Ted Williams, and they are all so well known that this book is just as unnecessary as the recent The Year They Won the Most Valuable Player Award (p. 380-J124). The chapters jump around through the high, low, and immaterial aspects of the players' careers with, of course, some emphasis on the early years. The padding includes dialogue (most of which seems to indicate that the players were so young they had to talk in monosyllables) and leaden anecdotes (e.g.: ""... Yogi Berra, catching for the Yankees, mentioned that Aaron wasn't holding his bat properly. 'You don't have the label up,' said Berra. 'I ain't up here to read.' said Aaron""). The emphasis throughout the book is on the pros of an early career in baseball (""No success is as satisfying as early success. When you accomplish something ahead of the timetable, something you are supposedly too young to accomplish, you experience a rare fulfillment"") with no consideration of what can be the drawbacks to achieving a childhood dream of glory too young. Tables of lifetime records.

Pub Date: April 25, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1966