Sunday, November 2, 2014

Review of "Baseball Explained"

This question is directed at the hard-core baseball fans like myself.  Have you ever found it difficult to explain the game to someone who have never played or watched the game?  How to explain the three outs, nine innings, double plays, or even why if the batter doesn't swing at the pitch why sometimes it's a strike and sometimes it isn't can be a challenge.  Now, we have a book to help us.  This is an outstanding book that will help explain the game to anyone.  Here is my review of "Baseball Explained." 

“Baseball Explained” by Phillip Mahony

Baseball, instruction, history

Publish date:
July 30, 2014

224 pages

5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

Even though I have been a baseball fan for most of my life, I often find myself struggling to try to explain the game to someone who is not familiar with it. That is a challenge for anyone and frustrating for the person who wants to learn about the sport.  Fortunately, there is now a book that explains the game in such a manner that is easy to follow and understand.  “Baseball Explained” by Phillip Mahony does just that in a through and entertaining manner.

There are four main sections to the book. The first, “Preliminaries” explains the basics such as what is hitting and pitching, the field, equipment, the format of the game, and the various players and positions. Next comes “The Game”, where offense and defense are explained.  On offense, this covers everything from stolen bases to bunts. On defense, this also covers the whole gamut from double plays to hitting the cutoff man.  Next is a great chapter on statistics that not only explains the traditional ones but the new sabermetrics used in the game. It also explains how to keep score at a game, something I still do at each game I attend.  Finally, there is a chapter with an overview of the major and minor leagues.

The book flows extremely well for the reader, explaining everything in a logical, easy to understand manner.  The order in which each aspect of the game is logical, and to keep the reader from forgetting key parts, Mahony talks about past topics as how they relate to the a new topic. It almost reads like a textbook – but much more entertaining.

While reading the book, the reader will feel like he or she is in a living room or den listening intently to Mahony explain the game, then he will go off on a tangent talking about aspects of either his life or life experiences that relate to the game.  For example, one of these stories is about how he met his wife and the time his son showed off his physique in such a manner that Derek Jeter noticed and reacted to it. Diversions like this make the book have a conversational tone, which I believe helps the reader enjoy learning about the game even more.  

This is an outstanding book that will be enjoyed by anyone interested in the game, no matter that person’s knowledge level of baseball.  I plan on keeping my copy to help me explain the game to my grandchildren.

I wish to thank Mr. Mahoney and McFarland & Company Publishers for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.  

Did I skim?

Pace of the book: 
Excellent – the explanations of each aspect never get too slow, but yet are sufficient to allow the reader to absorb the lessons he or she just read. 

Do I recommend? 
This book is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about the game of baseball. Whether the reader is brand new to the game, a novice who wants to understand the nuances better or a fan who has a hard time explaining the game to others, Mr. Mahoney’s book will be a winner.

Book Format Read:

Publisher contact information:

Order line: 800-253-2187

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