Monday, April 26, 2010

Book review: "Red Sox by the Numbers" by Bill Nowlin and Matthew Silverman

When I first picked up "Red Sox by the Numbers" I flicked through a couple of pages, glanced at a few numbers and went to put the book down. A thought jumped into my head, I wanted to see who else had worn my all time favourite Red Sox player John Valentin’s number 13 down the years.

That’s all it took.

From then on I was hooked. "Red Sox by the Numbers" at its most basic is a list of every jersey number and every Red Sox player that ever wore that number. The more interesting players are singled out and fleshed out nicely while there is also a section for the most obscure Red Sox player to have worn number.

The book is absolutely perfect for just picking up and dipping into, threading slowly through the various players and numbers assigned to them. There is stacks of enjoyable little nuggets of information associated to the numbers. As a Red Sox fan it makes for an enjoyable single-shot read but is probably at its best as a fun way to pass a half hour here and there, picking it up and leafing through the numbers.

What struck me most after reading it was the sheer volume of memories the book brought back. I found myself day dreaming about lazy afternoon strolls down Newbury Street towards Fenway, back in the summers of ’94, ’95 and ’99 in particular. The book acted something like an electric jolt, forcing enjoyable Red Sox memories to the surface. For that reason alone any Red Sox fan that enjoys dwelling over past seasons, players and games should pick this little nugget up and give it a shot.

Red Sox By The Numbers is co-written by Bill Nowlins and Matthew Silverman and is published by Skyhorse Publishing. It also contains a really nice forward by the inimitable Joe Castiglione, the radio play-by-play voice of The Boston Red Sox since 1983.

The book is statistically flaw less, beautifully researched and just good fun to read.

A real line drive off the bat.


1 comment:

The Omnipotent Q said...

I reviewed the book a couple of weeks ago, Cormac. Simply terrific, and brought back a lot of obscure Sox players I had totally forgotten about.

Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

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