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Baseball's 25 Greatest Moments
by Ron Smith
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0892046260, Hardcover)Given The Sporting News's criteria for a Greatest Moment--a dramatic, nail-biting situation; an out-of-the-blue happening; or the culmination of a record chase--the list of 25 they send to the plate may be predictable, but so what? These are moments of such myth and import--not surprisingly, most were born under the intense spotlight of a World Series or playoff game--that if baseball means anything to you, you'll feel your pulse pounding just browsing the table of contents.
Leading off is exactly what should be leading off: Bobby Thompson's 1951 "Shot Heard 'Round the World," with Bill Mazeroski's 1960 World Series-winning home run right behind. Not every moment is defined by a dinger, though the extraordinary World Series bops by Carlton Fisk and Kirk Gibson, Hank Aaron's chase of the Babe, and Mark McGwire's hunting down of Roger Maris all make the Top 10. So do Don Larsen's perfecto (No. 3), Bill Buckner's awful boot (No. 8), Willie Mays's catch (No. 9), and Cardinal Enos Slaughter's "Mad Dash" from first to home on a two-out single in Game 7 of the 1946 World Series (No. 10). Each is fully illustrated and recounted in rich detail by its participants--winners and losers alike. Following the 25, a series of less-detailed lists unveil events like moments that changed the game (Jackie Robinson is a clear number one here) and great individual feats (Ruth's called shot).
In his foreword, Joe Morgan recounts Fisk's 12th-inning home run from his perspective--he was playing second that night for the losing Reds--and deftly points out what makes this enterprise so much fun: "It makes you think of more than just the moment itself. When you think of your favorite moments on this list, think of what preceded these great accomplishments, and think of where you were sitting when you watched, read, or heard about them. If you are truly a baseball fan, you will remember." As if a true baseball fan could ever forget. --Jeff Silverman
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:06 -0400)
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