NEW YORK TIMES bestseller
WALL STREET JOURNAL bestseller
#1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Posnanski is back with a masterful ode to the game: a countdown of 50 of the most memorable moments in baseball’s history, to make you fall in love with the sport all over again.
Posnanski writes of major moments that created legends, and of forgotten moments almost lost to time. It's Willie Mays’s catch, Babe Ruth’s called shot, and Kirk Gibson’s limping home run; the slickest steals; the biggest bombs; and the most triumphant no-hitters. But these are also moments raw with the humanity of the game, the unheralded heroes, the mesmerizing mistakes drenched in pine tar, and every story, from the immortal to the obscure, is told from a unique perspective. Whether of a real fan who witnessed it, or the pitcher who gave up the home run, the umpire, the coach, the opposing player—these are fresh takes on moments so powerful they almost feel like myth.
Posnanski’s previous book, The Baseball 100, portrayed the heroes and pioneers of the sport, and now, with his trademark wit, encyclopedic knowledge, and acute observations, he gets at the real heart of the game. From nineteenth-century pitchers’ duels to breaking the sport’s color line in the ’40s, all the way to the greatest trick play of the last decade and the slide home that became a meme, Posnanski’s illuminating take allows us to rediscover the sport we love—and thought we knew.
Why We Love Baseball is an epic that ends too soon, a one-of-a-kind love letter to the sport that has us thrilled, torn, inspired, and always wanting more.
Journalist Posnanski (The Baseball 100) hits it out of the park in this rousing celebration of baseball. With the colorful banter of a play-by-play announcer ("You had a titan on the mound, a folk hero at the plate—yes, this is certainly why we love baseball," he writes of a 1989 face-off between Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan and the Royals's Bo Jackson), Posnanski recounts the "50 most magical baseball moments" from across all levels of the game. For number 48, he tells how in 2010, 13-year-old Chelsea Baker reached the pinnacle of her four-year winning streak by pitching a perfect game to win the district title for her Plant City, Fla., Little League team. At number 41 is Class C minor league Roswell Rockets player Ponderous Joe Bauman's August 1954 game against the Sweetwater Spudders, during which he hit four home runs, setting him on the path to end the season with a record-breaking (until 2001) 72 homers. Other moments look beyond the U.S.—such as Japanese pitcher Yutaka Enatsu striking out the country's most revered player in 1968, the highlight of a season in which he struck out a record 401 batters—and even beyond the playing field, as when Posnanski praises longtime Dodgers announcer Vin Scully's coverage of Dodgers' pitcher Sandy Koufax's perfect game on September 9, 1965. There are some well-known moments thrown into the mix (Hank Aaron hitting his 715th home run lands at number 1), but the abundance of stories from games outside the Major Leagues will enlighten even trivia-obsessed baseball fans. This will have readers cheering from their seats.
Rekindles Why The Game Is So Special
Fantastic and fun read. From the moments during one’s life that occurred (and we possibly forgot) to historical oddities that I never knew - this book has it all and had me longing for more. I found myself looking up videos of many of the modern era plays listed herein and they amaze to this day. Thoroughly enjoyed the book and yes - I truly enjoy this great game.
Errors, errors, errors
The book is full of mistakes and just poor editing. Example: it states that Alex Rodriquez is in the Hall of Fame. He is not.