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The Story of Baseball: In 100 Photographs

Book Review

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Love him or loathe him, Pete Rose was a symbol of an era and this photograph below is an iconic piece of baseball history. Pete Rose, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson. You will find them all, and many more, in this book

The Story of Baseball: In 100 Photographs brings together 100 of the most iconic, memorable, and immortal moments from the history of baseball.

From the Introduction:

“Are 100 photographs enough? Enough to tell the story of a sport over 150 years? Enough to tell the story as infinite as any reader, any fan would like it to be? No. It’s not enough at all..... Or maybe 100 photos are enough after all. For within such limits, the infinity. Nine innings. Fifty-four outs. One hundred and sixty-two games. And here are 100 photographs to describe a game that has long since slipped it’s very own gentle bounds and has given so many of us moments, memories, and yes, images, we may never forget.”

I was very pleasantly surprised when I received the book. I had thought it to be something of an enjoyable coffee table page turner where one would just flip through the pictures. Instead, this book is full of history, not just in the images themselves but the stories told form page to page. Stories like how the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional baseball team, the catcher who was a spy, The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, how batting helmets came to be, Mr. October, and of course, the great pine tar incident. Many of the stories and pictures may even be new to you. Some, will be very familiar.

This book is absolutely full of rich pictures, and yes it could probably be at least twice the size. Sadly, there is no picture of Mike Trout that made the cut (he is still making his own history), but the authors did appreciate the historical significance of another Angels player - Shohei Ohtnai. Ohtani actually graces the very last two pages (222-223) in this book, and of course he needed more than one photo. How else would you portray the greatest two-way player in the history of baseball since Babe Ruth (who appeared on page 46)?

You can pick up your copy now on Amazon for $20 or perhaps a bookstore if you are one of those rare people who still patronize those lovely smelling relics from a bygone time.

The Story of Baseball: In 100 Photographs
Authors: The editors and Sports Illustrated
Introduction: Kostya Kennedy
Hardcover, 224 pages