Scoring a baseball game requires paper, something to write with, following the action on the field, and knowing what to write on the score sheet. We enjoy everything related to baseball, not just watching and playing. We indulge in baseball books, poems, music, and films. In reviewing them we cannot use a normal 1 to 10 ratings system. Even this we must make about baseball.
Here is our ratings system to understand our opinions about our previous reviews and moving forward.
- Golden Sombrero
- Hit By Pitch
- Home Run
- Grand Slam
- Walk-Off Grand Slam
The is no wrong way to score a baseball game, so long as you can read and understand what happened in the game. (The Winning Run/ BL)
Here are our past reviews and ratings.
- The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond by Jeff Silverman (Single)
- The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets Beneath the Stitches by Zack Hample (Double)
- Ball Four by Jim Bouton (Home Run)
- A Day in the Bleachers by Arnold Hano (Home Run)
- Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero by Leigh Montville (Double)
- The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH by Shawn Green and Gordon McAlpine (Double)
- Ballplayer by Chipper Jones and Carroll Rogers Walton (Double)
- They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived by Doug Harvey and Peter Golenbock (Grand Slam)
- The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse by Molly Knight (Home Run)
- Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game by Dan Barry (Triple)
- The Only Rule Is It Has To Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller
- The Unforgettable Season by G.H. Fleming (Double)
- The Mick: An American Hero, The Legend and the Glory by Mickey Mantle and Herb Gluck (Triple)
- Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season by Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King (Triple)
- 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports by Kostya Kennedy (Home Run)
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (Triple)
- My Oh My by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Single)
- The Green Fields of the Mind by Bart Giamatti (Grand Slam)
Moving forward we will use this ratings system in our reviews. We do not always agree, but the scoring is the opinion of the reviewer. Everyone wants to hit a Walk-Off Grand Slam, but not everyone will. Hopefully we find our own versions of Bill Mazeroski off the diamond.
A Day in the Bleachers by Arnold Hano captures the beauty of baseball and the connection of the fan to the game. Hano recounts his experience of Game 1 of the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians at the Polo Grounds. He captures the excitement of going to a baseball game from the sights, sounds, and smells in the stands to the action on the field. Hano describes with great detail the thoughts and feelings any baseball fan goes through when they walk up to a game to buy a ticket. The excitement and nervousness of “will there be a ticket left in the area I want to sit”, “did I wait too late to get here”, “why are fans from other teams here?”
After getting into the Polo Grounds and finding his seat, Hano’s description of the fans around him rekindles the memories of every reader who has ever attended a baseball game. The conversations about the game and about life outside of baseball, the banter between rival fans, the look of the field and the players all provide the reader with an understanding of how the game looked and felt that day. The play by play allows anyone to visualize the game in its entirety. The drama that occurs throughout the game continues to rise until it reaches its climax or anticlimax, depending on which team you are rooting for.
The climax for Giants fans comes in the eighth inning with Al Rosen on first and Larry Doby on second. Cleveland first baseman Vic Wertz hammers a pitch to deep centerfield which appears headed for the cavernous confines of the Polo Grounds; straightaway centerfield was 483 feet from home plate. Willie Mays turned and chased down the ball before it could land for Wertz’s fourth hit of the day, much to the chagrin of Indian fans. What is often lost in The Catch is the throw back to the infield which prevented the Indians from scoring. Doby was able to tag up and move to third but Rosen had to remain at first. The momentum for Cleveland died in Mays’ glove, as they did not score again and only managed one more hit the entire game (the game went to the tenth inning).
Arnold Hano captures the best of baseball and allows everyone who was not at the game on September 29, 1954 to live the experience for themselves. The description of the game in A Day in the Bleachers is as relevant to baseball fans today as it was in 1955 when it was written. Though he is writing about a game that was played nearly sixty years ago, Hano provides a look back in time to the 1954 World Series, which every baseball fan can appreciate and enjoy.