If you are looking for a great baseball book to read this season, I recommend David Halberstam’s The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship. The book is not only about baseball, but also about the lifelong friendship forged by four Boston Red Sox players: Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr. I read the book several years ago but it remains in my memory as one of my favorite books.
The book’s narrative is anchored by a 1,300-mile road trip taken by Pesky and DiMaggio (accompanied by DiMaggio’s friend Dick Flavin) to visit Williams, who is dying. Doerr couldn’t accompany his former teammates because he was caring for his ailing wife, Monica, who had suffered her second stroke. Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize winner for his reporting from Vietnam, was not along for the ride, but he recreates as much of the trip’s details as necessary, filling in the blanks with stories of the four teammates’ close friendship, which spanned more than 60 years. It is a realistic portrayal of the men and their relationship, devoid of the kind of hero worship that often infects such books. However, Halberstam’s storytelling is warm and nostalgic, and the end of the book leaves you wanting more — in a good way.
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I recently discovered a blog called “The Cubs in Haiku.” It’s a fun Web site that analyzes the Chicago Cubs on a daily basis — and is written completely in haiku. Check it out here: www.thecubsinhaiku.wordpress.com/.