Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Review of "The 50 Greatest Players in Detroit Tigers History"

Books that list the greatest players, teams or games are always sure to generate heated discussions.  This one will do the same thing, although the player rated at the top of this book was really not a surprise nor will too many readers disagree.  But what about the other 49?  You'll have to read the book to find out.  Here is my review of "The 50 Greatest Players in Detroit Tigers History"

“The 50 Greatest Players in Detroit Tigers History” by Robert W. Cohen

Baseball, professional, list, Tigers

Publish date:
October 1, 2015

360 pages

4 of 5 stars (very good)

Books that list the best or worst of a particular sport, team, era or similar grouping are ones that are always interesting. They usually are good for a sports bar discussion, with arguments ensuring between participants on the rankings (“How is HE #1??”) or on the merits of including or excluding a certain person (“How in the world did so-and-so NOT make the list??”)

This list of the fifty greatest players in the history of the Detroit Tigers reads much like other books of this type. Author Robert W. Cohen sticks with the same format for each player – a photo, a complete description of the player’s career and the best Tigers games and moments in that player’s career. It doesn’t matter the position of the player; he breaks down each player in the same manner. 

How he assesses the players and ranks them is explained in the introduction and it is an extremely fair method in which he does so. Cohen explains how he uses statistical analysis for each player. He also explains that only the statistics for when the player was a member of the Tigers are considered for these rankings, which helps explain why some great players who are in the book are ranked higher or lower than one might expect.

This book has one difference than most books of this type is that it starts at #1 and goes on to #50 instead of the usual countdown format. That took some of the drama away. It was also good to see the author recognize many of the past great players for the Tigers, such as Harry Heilmann. Because the Tigers had stretches of success in various decades the entire history of the club is covered and players from those eras are included. From Ty Cobb and Hank Greenberg to Alan Trammel and Miguel Cabrera, the entire timeline of the Tigers franchise is represented.

This book is one that every Tigers fan must have in his or her library as it covers the entire history of the franchise. Baseball historians and even fans of other teams will enjoy this book as well as these books are always fun to read and agree or disagree with the author’s rankings.

I wish to thank Mr. Cohen for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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