This is easily the most irresistible sports book so far this year. Lively and lovely, it is the fond story of the early days of baseball, told in person by the great old players who were in their prime from 1900-1925. Ritter traveled some 75,000 miles to make these wonderful tape-recordings from eleven famous players. Some of the all-time stars such as Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Rube Waddell, who are not interviewed, are revealed in incident after incident by these former teammates and competitors. Most of the interviews follow a pattern: the cub breaking into the major leagues, the player's greatest season, the greatest or wildest plays and games he ever saw, the true measurements of his idols, and how he finally left the game. Nearly all the players are now octogenarians. They all attempt to refine the record and correct public misconceptions about players. Ritter edits brightly and his subjects are often gloriously hilarious or nostalgic for ""the old game"" with the dead ball, bigger park and unstuffed mitts. And there is often a quality of sadness and pathos about the great players when they discover that the game is through with them at thirty-five. The book superbly lives up to its title.