Watching Baseball Smarter

Published By: Vintage

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Sports & Recreation

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Reviewed by Kathy Perschmann

Subtitled: A professional fan's guide for beginners, semi-experts, and deeply serious geeks.
Hample is the author of How to Snag Major League Baseballs (he has a collection of 2,961, from 41 major league stadiums) and is a confessed serious baseball geek. He has worked as both a baseball instructor and a spokesman. He also writes for and has a popular blog.

The title says it all. No matter what your knowledge of baseball, you will find this book interesting and educational. You can open it anywhere and learn something--and it is fun to read.

I had no idea there was so much statistical analysis of pitching for example, with charts kept of every game. This book addresses the things fans may have wondered about but not had the time to research, filling in the details and tying up all the loose ends.

The glossary of baseball slang is 41 pages long; the books is organized into the basics, pitchers and catchers, hitting, base running, fielding, stadiums, and umpires. Then there are chapters on statistics, random stuff to know, and random stuff to notice (like how dirt is important to the game).

Armchair Interview says: This book is the perfect gift for the baseball fan in your life, or for yourself so you can really know what is going behind the scenes.

Author's Web site:

Voted one of the 101 Best Websites For Writers in 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009