The Heart of the Order (Penguin Sports Library)

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9780140129878: The Heart of the Order (Penguin Sports Library)

Baseball’s Most Valuable Writer, Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post, hits a grand slam with this classic collection of heartfelt and humorous pieces on our national’s pastime. The lineup includes “Heroes,” “Managing (Life),” and “The Flame of Fame,” which capture some of the outstanding players in baseball, from DiMaggio, Weaver, and Ozzie Smith to Rose, Sutton, and Gooden; “Five Octobers,” which shows that baseball is a dynamic game in which any team can rise to the top; and the hilarious and memorable “99 Reasons Why Baseball Is Better Than Football” (Reason 20: Eighty degrees, a cold and a short-sleeve shirt are better than 30 degrees, a hip flask, and six layers of clothes under a blanket). And in “The Heart of the Order,” Boswell showcases those players, past and present, who deserve a spot on the All-Star team for their talent and their “governing passion for excellence.”

Funny, insightful, and moving, The Heart of the Order confirms that when it comes to baseball, Boswell is in a league by himself.

“Boswell is the best all-around writer in America—the literary equivalent of the player who can do it all: run, field, throw, hit, and hit  with power.”—The San Diego Union

“A wise old catcher once said of baseball, ‘It’s like a church. Many attend, but few understand.’ Boswell’s readers understand. Start with his essay ‘99 Reasons Why Baseball Is Better Than Football.’ Boswell is the 100th reason.”—George Will

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Review:

Thomas Boswell, who consistently turns out elegant prose on deadline for the Washington Post, has a knack for finding eternal themes in what might otherwise pass as insignificant on-the-field encounters. It's hard to believe that most of his graceful compilations from the '70s and '80s--like those of the incomparable Roger Angell's--are out of print today, but then publishers, like shortstops with hands of lead, have been known to make their errors. In the heart of Boswell's 1989 collection, The Heart of the Order, he breaks down the game position by position, profiling the player at each whose style of play and attitude about the game best suggest why "heart" isn't just a cliche. Heart also pitches the delightful essay "99 Reasons Why Baseball is Better Than Football"; reason 100 should be that Boswell writes about it with such clarity.

About the Author:

Thomas Boswell was born in Washington, DC, and received a degree in English from Amherst College in 1969. He is a well-known sports columnist at The Washington Post. His has written several sports and recreation books, including Game DayThe Heart of the OrderStrokes of GeniusWhy Time Begins on Opening Day, and How Life Imitates the World Series.

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