Cover image for Two spectacular seasons : 1930, the year the hitters ran wild ; 1968, the year the pitchers took revenge
Title:
Two spectacular seasons : 1930, the year the hitters ran wild ; 1968, the year the pitchers took revenge
Author:
Mead, William B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Macmillan, [1990]

©1990
Physical Description:
245 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780025837317
Format :
Book

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GV863.A1 M44 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The virtually infinite variability of baseball is demonstrated in this intriguing, unusual and entertaining volume. Mead ( Baseball Goes to War ) compares the major league seasons of 1930, the year of the hitter, and 1968, the year of the pitcher. In the former, the batting average for the entire National League was .303, with New York Giant Bill Terry hitting .401 and Chicago Cubs Hack Wilson batting in 190 runs. In 1968 Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLaine won 31 games and St. Louis Cardinals hurler Bob Gibson had the lowest earned run average of the century, 1.12. But the book is not a dry compilation of statistics: Mead analyzes trends in the game between the '20s and '60s and changes in the ball and the height of the pitcher's mound, and presents the personalities who added drama to the sport, from the feisty, acerbic John McGraw, manager of the New York Giants in the early '20s, to the flamboyant McLaine. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

The two seasons, 1930 and 1968, contrast extremes in modern baseball. The earlier year found the National League, pitchers included, registering a composite average of .303 whereas, in 1968, Yastrzemski led American League batters with .301. Gibson's earned run average in 1968 was just 1.12, Drysdale set a record for consecutive shutout innings, and pitchers dominated batters in ways unseen since the dead ball era. In general, the book is lively although tighter editing (e.g., reducing repeated identification of those quoted) is needed. Its placement of the two seasons in historical context is limited when compared with Michael Seidel's Streak: Joe DiMaggio and the Summer of '41 (CH, Dec '88). Mead, a long time member of Society for American Baseball Research, is an unquestioned authority. There is an index (occasionally inaccurate), a brief statistical appendix, but no formal bibliography. A useful addition to academic libraries, the book makes interesting reading for all baseball fans. -W. F. Gustafson, San Jose State University