Science meets sport in this vibrant collection of baseball essays by the late evolutionary biologist.
Among Stephen Jay Gould's many gifts was his ability to write eloquently about baseball, his great passion. Through the years, the renowned palaeontologist published numerous essays on the sport which have now for the first time been collected in a volume alive with all the candour and insight that characterised Gould's writing.
Here are his thoughts on the complexities of childhood streetball and the joys of opening day; tributes to Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, and lesser-knowns such as deaf-mute centerfielder "Dummy" Hoy; and a frank admission of the contradictions inherent in being a lifelong Yankees fan with Red Sox season tickets.
So, too, does Gould deftly apply the tools of evolutionary theory to the demise of the 0.400 hitter, the Abner Doubleday creation myth, and the improbability of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak.
This book is a delight - an essential addition to Gould's remarkable legacy, and a fitting tribute to his love for the game.