Baseball inspires writers like no other American sport. From columns written by sports journalists, to short stories, to memoirs penned by the greats of the game, baseball writing holds a place of its own in modern literature. Play Ball! celebrates this writing, bringing to life the sound of the ball hitting the sweet spot, the roar of the crowd, the thrill of a grand slam and the agony of a strikeout. And most importantly, the pure joy of the game, for whether we're on the field or in the last row of the bleachers, we're all fans.
This collection highlights the poetry, exuberance, and heartbreak of the game that is, in Roger Angell's words, "one of the reasons that summer exists." Classic stories from baseball's earthy beginnings, profiles of icons such as Joe DiMaggio, Carl Erskine, and 'Hammerin' Hank" Aaron, graceful essays on the moment a ballplayer becomes an idol, and humorous accounts of modern baseball's international reach – Play Ball! presents a lively and passionate tribute to America's favorite pastime.