Saturday, March 31, 2007

Five best baseball books

Fay Vincent, commissioner of baseball from 1989 through 1992, and author of The Only Game in Town: Baseball Stars of the 1930s and 1940s Talk About the Game They Loved (2006), named the five best books on the so-called national pastime for Opinion Journal.

The only novel on his list:

Highpockets by John R. Tunis (Morrow, 1948).

When I was about 12 years old and haunting our local library outside New Haven, Conn., the librarian pointed me to this lyrical little baseball novel. The story concerns a self-absorbed young Brooklyn Dodgers player who injures a boy in a car accident, befriends him and then finds his life--and his approach to the game--altered much for the better. I have never forgotten "Highpockets." Everyone else seems to have done so, but for me John R. Tunis reinforced my conviction that I would someday be a great player. It is that lesson in failure that binds all of us in a love for the game that we could not play well.

Read the entire list.

--Marshal Zeringue