FINE ARTS

The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball's Golden Age

Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2017. 400p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780547719276. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781328768131. SPORTS
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The extraordinary 1968 baseball season is known as the year of the pitcher and included two of finest pitchers of all time: Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers and Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals. Gibson set a modern-era major league record, finishing with a 1.12 earned run average. Meanwhile, McLain was the last person to win more than 30 games (he finished with 33), a record that has yet to be broken. New York Times columnist Pappu offers an exciting look into that legendary season, beautifully capturing both pitchers' fascinating journeys throughout their careers. The author effectively interweaves the stories of McLain and Gibson in an engaging fashion, engrossing readers with the rivalry of Detroit and St. Louis. Enjoyable chapters describe the lead up to one of the most exciting World Series in baseball history, in which Detroit came back to win the championship from a 3–1 deficit.
VERDICT Devoted baseball fans will appreciate this story from one of major league's best years.

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