As the calendar turns to December it is now time to announce the month’s El Libro for Viva El Libros, the Viva El Birdos Book Club. After some consideration I decided to pick The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It. It was a close race between this book and Lords of the Realm: The Real History of Baseball, but that book was over 500 pages. I think we can still make it happen, but I would want to split it into two parts.
So The Glory of Their Times won out. It is not quite a light book at 384 pages, but the book does contain pictures and interviews that take up some of the space. To kick off this offseason’s book club, a book Wilfrid Sheed of The New York Times called “quite simply the best sports book in recent memory” in his review written in 1966 seems like as good a choice as any.
Of course a lot has happened in baseball and the world since 1966 and we will cover that in the months to come. The interviews in this book were recorded over the course of four years from 1962 through 1966. Every player featured in the book has since passed, most being old men when they were interviewed. For some, this book was their last appearance in the public eye.
What really sets this book apart is actually not the written book, but the audiobook. The audiobook contains the original tapes of the interviews recorded by the book’s author Lawrence S. Ritter. For the passionate baseball fan, the experience of the book is only improved by these recordings. I cannot wait to get started.
I will no longer delay. For those interested in reading along, the book and audiobook are both available on Amazon. You may also find this book at your local library. Many libraries also have audiobooks on CDs and in a streaming format. Be sure to check that out if you are interested!
At the end of the month I will write a post for us to chat about our reading (or listening) and share our thoughts.