Back in December we kicked things off for this offseason’s book club with The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It. If you are not finished with the book yet do not fret (I am not done yet, either)! This is all for fun, so read at your own pace and feel free to discuss what you have read (or heard) in the comments below.
Where to start in breaking this down? It is surreal to be transported back into history, to feel like you have players like Hank Greenberg alongside you, shooting the breeze about the way things used to be. Nearly a century after many of these players made their debut, their stories still find a way to captivate. It truly is a glorious thing.
When I read these were interviews I was expecting the standard interview format. What I was not expecting was for author Lawrence Ritter to omit his questions, resulting in what sounds like a first-person narrative told by the various subjects. Very rarely can you tell the men are even being interviewed. It is a brilliant piece of editing. Instead of telling a story, Ritter manages to lead the interview subjects in a way that makes them tell the story themselves. The thought and care that went into these interviews is evident and much appreciated.
After hearing these, I feel more than ever we have reached another point in baseball where is seems worthwhile for another gifted writer to continue Ritter’s work. Many great players along with their stories are sadly already gone. Everyday we lose a little more history. Thanks to works like The Glory of Their Times we have access to a little bit more. For that, we are better.
What did you think of the collection? Did you like the story-telling method? What didn’t you like?
What was your favorite interview?
Did those of you that listened to the audiobook like it more than reading from the book?
What player from that era do wish had been included in the collection?
If a similar collection was done with players of a different, who would you like to hear from?
Thanks for reading along with me! I will introduce the next book — The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach — on Friday!