“Anatomy Of Baseball,” edited by Lee Gutkind and Andrew Blauner, is a baseball anthology book that was released last month. It’s a collection of twenty essays by some names that you’ll know (like Roger Angell, Frank Deford, Jeff Greenfield, John Thorn, and George Plimpton) and some names that may not ring any bells with you. The essays themselves, while baseball-centric, vary in theme. Some are more baseball history oriented while others are more fan-experience type pieces. And, others fall in between – like Frank Deford’s contribution which is an ode to baseball caps and how they have become “the most familar American artifact.”
If you’re a baseball fan, you will enjoy “Anatomy Of Baseball.” The essays – from all the authors (be they well known or not) – truly find that sweet spot in your heart reserved for baseball and tickle it in a way that invokes a very positive response. Whether it’s finding yourself in one of the fan experience essays (like Stefan Fatsis’ “My Glove: A Biography”) or learning something new from the others (like Michael Shapiro’s “The Southworths”), reading this book is just a flat-out good time.
If you’re like me, in the sense that you would would drape yourself in baseball if it were socially acceptable, then I recommend reading “Anatomy Of Baseball.” It’s a good, healthy, fix for any baseball addict.
As an added bonus to Yankees fans, Sean Wilentz contributed an essay to the book entitled “Freddy the Fan” – which calls for recognizing uber-fans, like Yankee Stadium’s “Freddy Sez,” from baseball’s history. (I’m fine with that – and, who knows, it may, someday, lead to recognizing Yankeeland zealot bloogers too!)