“Arizona’s All Time Baseball Team” by John Rust
Baseball, professional, list
July 4, 2015
4 of 5 stars (very good)
Unlike most books with a listing of players, this book of the best baseball players born or raised in Arizona does not rank each player with a number or by a complicated formula. Instead, John Rust simply builds a baseball team with players who were either born in Arizona or developed their skills in the state by playing high school or college baseball in the state. The result is an interesting collection of stories about the best players to hail from Arizona.
This team created is a complete team. The book does not simply list the best player at each position. Of course, these players, such as Paul Konerko and Ian Kinsler, are listed first as the starters for the team, and there is one for each position. Rust takes it a step further and also has a complete starting rotation of pitchers, additional pitchers for the bullpen, a backup catcher, a few backup position players and a manager for the team. This is a nice touch to include the other players and not just the starting nine.
Each player has a brief write-up on his major league career, his qualifications for the team (whether a native of the state or one who relocated to the state and played high school or college baseball in the state) and the highlights of his time in the major leagues. The stories do not contain many quotations or anecdotes and are fairly short in length. This made the book a quick and easy read that gave just enough information to fully explain why this player made the team.
After the team is compiled, Rust decides to see if this team would win a “rematch” of the 2001 World Series when the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees in what some consider to be one of the best World Series ever played. Using the Strat-O-Matic game with the players for each team, the World Series is played. That result will not be given as a spoiler in this review.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I thought the creation of the team was fine, but the replay of the 2001 World Series was a nice touch and made the book better. This is a good read for this time of year when baseball fans are eagerly awaiting the start of spring training.
I wish to thank Mr. Rust for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Book Format Read: