Monday, February 11, 2019

Review of "K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches"

It isn't often that a book will make me realize how little I know about a sport, especially baseball, but this one did just that.  I thought I understood the history behind many different pitches, such as the origin of the split-finger fastball - but by reading this book, I learned SO much more.  Here is my review of "K"

“K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches” by Tyler Kepner 

Baseball, history

Publish date:
April 2, 2019

614 pages

5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

In order to be a successful pitcher in Major League Baseball, it is highly recommended that a pitcher has more than one type of pitch he uses to consistently get batters out.  Through the history of the game, ten pitches have been used most frequently and a discussion on each one of them is the basis of this excellent book by Tyler Kepner.
Pitches that are popular in today’s game, such as the fastball, cutter and slider, as well as pitches that are now phased out or given a new name, such as a screwball or splitter, are all discussed. Everything about a particular pitch is discussed. Kepner’s thorough research is on display each time he writes about pitchers in the early history of the game who threw the pitch being discussed without it being called the current name.  Interviews with pitchers who threw the pitch with much success, such as Sandy Koufax and Bert Blyleven on the curveball chapter, add valuable insight into the specific pitch as well. 
However, what really made this book a joy to read was the smooth and easy flow this book takes.  The writing is outstanding in that it keeps that balance that a non-fan who wants to learn about pitching can do so without feeling overwhelmed, yet it is technical enough so that hard-core fans are not bored or disappointed because it is too simple for their tastes.  Humor is spread throughout the book, both from pitchers being interviewed and the author himself.  The information is also thorough since pitches that are no longer used or legal (such as the spitball), there isn’t an era, pitch or pitcher that isn’t covered. 
No matter what level of fan a reader is or what is his or her favorite era of the game, this book is one that should be added to the collection of baseball books.  If pitching is supposedly 90% of the game, then every baseball fan needs to read this to be informed of that 90%.
I wish to thank Doubleday Books for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Book Format Read:
E-book (Kindle)

Buying Links:

No comments:

Post a Comment