Cover image for Ruth, Maris, McGwire and Sosa : baseball's single season home run champions
Ruth, Maris, McGwire and Sosa : baseball's single season home run champions
McNeil, William.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [1999]

Physical Description:
ix, 242 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV868.4 .M38 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This work reviews the life and careers of, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Babe Ruth and Roger Maris, four record breaking longballers. The author places special emphasis placed on each of their record breaking seasons.'

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

The record-setting season of 1998 has already seen a number of appreciations, from Bernie Milasz's pictorial Celebrating 70 to Mike Lupica's Summer of '98. Now McNeil (The King of Swat) compares the 1998 heroics of Sosa and McGwire with Ruth's 60 and Maris's 61. Placing each record in historical context, he considers each slugger's background and personality, the era's pitching quality, the size and character of the ball parks, and the variables of day/night play. The extensive statistics and appealing sidelights add to McNeil's analysis. Sports students and their libraries especially will want this.ÄMorey Berger, St. Joseph's Hosp. Medical Lib., Tucson, AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

McNeil, author of The King of Swat (CH, Oct'97), specializes in books about home run hitters. This study compares the greatest power seasons of Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire. While the life stories are familiar to anyone interested in baseball biography, they are well told. The baseball historian is likely to be most interested in the analytical chapter 11, which, by comparing the social and cultural circumstances within which the four sluggers labored in their greatest season(s), provides a basis for assessing the noteworthiness of their respective achievements. Ruth was the most dominant power hitter of the four, Maris the most underestimated, Sosa the smallest, McGwire (for several reasons) the luckiest. Some of McNeil's judgments seem quirky. Why, for example, since 1961 was the year of American League enlargement, does Maris's achievement come "too early to capitalize on expansion"? And has major league pitching really "deteriorated to the point where it is about on par with the high minor league pitching of the 1950s"? This book is likely to appeal to the historically minded fan and provoke a few quarrels. General readers and up. R. Browning; Kenyon College