Two of these authors are journalists, and the training shows in this collection of tidy, conventional human-interest stories. The two- to four-page anecdotes are arranged thematically--""We Are Family"" (the Griffeys, the Clementes, the '79 Pirates); ""Doing the Right Thing"" (""Going to Bat for America: A Tip of the Cap to Ted Williams""); ""Hard Times"" (""Roger Maris: Alone in a Crowd""); etc. They range through baseball's history, featuring sound-bite quotes, dramatic turns of phrase, and Lessons writ large (""We...wanted a book that had 'family values' built into the foundation of each story""). These are as read, and as intellectually nourishing, as sports-page newspaper columns (which they could be, though there's no evidence of prior publication). At best, a supplementary purchase. Lawrence Ritter's The Story of Baseball (1990) offers a more coherent view of the sport's history, players, attractions, and shining moments. B&w photos.