Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review: Ted Williams: A Baseball Life

Ted Williams: A Baseball Life
Ted Williams: A Baseball Life by Michael Seidel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ted Williams is a fascinating sports figure. The greatest hitter to ever play the game of baseball, and yet one of the most criticized of players. He had a hate-hate relationship with the media that dogged him his whole baseball life. Seidel's book provides a good account of Williams' rise to baseball greatness and his struggles with the media and the fans. He does a good job balancing between the media's take and Williams' take on the causes of the strife. He doesn't get too much into his personal life except as affected his baseball life. A nice feature of the narrative is that Seidel references contemporaneous events to provide historical context to the events of baseball.

Personally, I don't get a lot out of detailed accounts of baseball games from a half a century ago. Some of it is interesting, but Seidel does a season by season exposition and throws a lot of stats out there. It tended to blur together, and I often lost the thread. The most interesting parts where the accounts and testimony from Williams and his contemporaries. Overall, I am glad I read it, but I'd only recommend it to hard core baseball readers or Williams' fans.

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