THE GREATEST STORIES EVER TOLD (ABOUT BASEBALL) by Kevin Nelson

THE GREATEST STORIES EVER TOLD (ABOUT BASEBALL)

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The only evident merit of this hit-or-miss baseball medley is the distinction of the sources from which its twice-told tales and anecdotal snippets have been drawn. To his dubious credit, Nelson has plundered from the best. A partial roster of those to whom he is indebted includes Robert Creamer (Babe) for a truncated tribute to the great Ruth, and Gay Talese (author of a much-anthologized Esquire article) for a sketchy account of Joe DiMaggio's bittersweet retirement, plus Roger Kahn (The Boys of Summer) and Peter Golenbock (Bums) for a quirky rundown on the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. There are a few nuggets among the surfeit of dregs, e.g., the intelligence that Denton T. Young earned the nickname Cy by pitching like a cyclone. Mainly, though, Nelson offers familiar yarns on the game and off-field antics of its misfit players in a short-take format that's longer on chaff than wheat. Frequently, he exhibits an unfortunate capacity to appropriate without any great accuracy. Among other lapses, Nelson mis-attributes a key quote from Jim Bouton's Ball Four in a gossipy rundown of the presumptively active sex lives led by major leaguers. A bush league entry, proving the baseball adage that no one has yet stolen first base.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1986
Publisher: Perigee/Putnam