More than any other sport, baseball has fascinated Americans since possibly the first formal game was played on the Elysian Fields of New York back in 1846. Though Roger Kahn speculates as to why this is so, he is largely concerned with the ballplayers themselves as they work their way from the minors to the majors, as they go through spring training and enter the race for the pennant, as they undergo the hectic, exhilarating ordeal of the World Series. By observing the techniques of pros like Early Wynn, Stan Musial and Mickey Mantle, the reader can begin to comprehend the enormous energies, both mental and physical, expended in the game. He also learns the difference between inspired and routine management through anecdotes about managers like Durocher. The serious aftermath of big league success is a problem for every ball player and how they deal with it is revealing of each personality discussed. Mr. Kahn has written a diamond-studded chronology of American baseball which probes its glitter and glory to reveal its demands and rigors.