This little book (2 ¾" x 3 ¼") proves the adage that "good things come in small packages." It's a collection of neat quotes about baseball joined with forty full-color and black and white photos.
The editor notes the hold that baseball has on us as a "safe and familiar haven from the accelerating pace of a world that seems to grow more uncertain each day." So Plaut has put together a set of quotes on baseball's enduring appeal, offered by "presidents, pitchers, scholars, and second basemen. They span more than one hundred years of the baseball experience, holding a mirror to the grand old game so that we can better appreciate it and in so doing gain a greater understanding of ourselves."
Among the gems here are:
Doris Kearns Goodwin: "... I feel an invisible bond between our three generations. An anchor of loyalty linking my sons to the grandfather whose face they never saw but whose person they have already come to know through this most timeless of all sports, the game of baseball."
Dwight Eisenhower: "When I was a small boy in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing... I told him I wanted to be a real major league baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he'd like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish.
Tallulah Bankhead: "There have been only two geniuses in the world. Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare."
Ted Williams: "Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer."
Wes Westrum: "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand."
Lefty Gomez: "I'm throwing twice as hard as I ever did. It's just not getting there as fast."
Vin Scully: "It's a mere moment in a man's life between the All-Star game and an Old-Timer's game."
And no group of baseball quotes would be complete without the wisdom of Yogi Berra: "If people don't want to come to the ballpark, how are you gonna stop them?"
This is a dandy little book to give as a gift, keep in your pocket, and to enjoy-both its great pictures and the profundity of what the quotes capture. Perhaps Lawrence Ritter is right when he is quoted as saying: "The strongest thing baseball has going for it today is yesterdays."