Complete Idiot's Guide to Baseball

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9780028629513: Complete Idiot's Guide to Baseball

You're no idiot, of course. You know that Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat, Mark McGwire is the home run champ, and the '98 Yankees were one of the best teams in baseball history. But when it comes to understanding the finer points of a suicide squeeze or the impact of the designated hitter rule, you feel like a Little Leaguer facing a Randy Johnson fastball. Don't bench yourself just yet! Hall of Famer Johnny Bench--named the greatest catcher and 16th greatest all-around player in history by The Sporting News in 1998-- is here to help you follow the national pastime like a pro. In his fact-filled book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baseball, Johnny gives you:

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Review:

This is for certain: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baseball is, at over 400 pages, more complete than most Opening Day rosters; but, with Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench giving the signs, it's not just for idiots. Much of it is pretty sophisticated stuff.

Before knuckling down to the basics of how the game is played, Bench touches base with baseball's history, traditions, and the glory of its most magnificent records, like Cal Ripken's consecutive game streak, and moments, like Bobby Thompson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World." Both clear and thorough on baseball's ABC's--this is a good coaching aid for parents trying to introduce baseball to children--Bench ratchets things up a sophistication notch when picking apart pitcher-catcher dynamics, which is certainly fitting from the best catcher to ever play the game. He also makes solid contact on the art of hitting and goes fairly deep into the complexities of offensive and defensive strategies.

Still, you don't have to play to enjoy what the Guide is hurling. A section directed at fans analyzes everything from the business of baseball to how to watch a game on TV to Bench's predictions for the future. And there's still more. Appendices include a glossary, a who's who, and, most fun of all, a guide to the game between the covers, on the screen, and via the Web that's so extensive it could actually interfere with your going to the ballpark. --Jeff Silverman

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