Friday, April 07, 2006

Book review #6

Maybe one of these days I will write about something other than baseball books.

The most recent baseball book I have read is Trade Him! by Jim Enright. This is a unique book, published in the mid-1970's, which involved Enright contacting sportswriters from each major league city and asking them to write about the history of trades for that particular ballclub. He then compiled these team essays into the book. The appendix is neat, too, in that it has transactions involving Hall of Fame players.

Most of the essays are really good. Several of the writers explored the reasons behind the more lopsided trades (almost all financially related in some way, shape or form) and provided some behind the scenes looks at the genesis of these moves.

Some teams, such as the Astros or Expos, who had only been on the scene a handful of years, had some less than thrilling historic trades. I didn't mind that as much as the sportswriters who could not view the then-current era as being not as great as historic eras. In other words, some of the chapters spent too much time on recent trades involving third-rate pitchers who had not yet proven themselves as third-rate as being noteworthy simply because the writer felt there was potential of the trade being beneficial. Looking back thirty years later, though, you know that the trades were far more meaningless than the writer thought they were.

All in all it is a neat book and one worth taking a look at.