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Boughten: “A Baseball Winter” (Book)

Most of the things I did today are shameful, and concern for the reader’s modesty forbids me from recounting them (i.e. those things I did) in these pages. Among the less shameful activities in which I engaged, however, was to visit the very excellent Grey Matter Books in Hadley, MA, and buy the book you see pictured here, lying on a friend’s rug.

A Baseball Winter: The Off-Season Life of the Summer Game is an account of the 1984-85 offseason of five clubs: the New York Mets, the California Angels, the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Cleveland Indians. As editor-authors Terry Pluto and Jeffrey Neuman note in the Acknowledgments, “its focus [is] on the backstage aspects of the game: contract negotiations, trade talks, in short, the games as it is played off the field.”

Having read the first 10 or so pages, I can speak to one of the book’s virtues — namely, that it’s written in diary form, with three- or four-page entries for each (or most) of the days of the offseason. The style lends itself to a sort of urgency, a sense of witnessing the events as they unfold, that’s very pleasant.