Historical Dictionary of Baseball

Scarecrow. (Historical Dictionaries of Sports). 2012. 504p. bibliog. illus. ISBN 9780810878129. $115; ebk. ISBN 9780810879546. Online: eBooks on EBSCOhost, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia REF
For the past three decades, Spatz (chairman, Soc. for American Baseball Research Records Committee) has written prolifically on a variety of baseball topics. In this volume of 900 cross-referenced entries, he emphasizes the American major leagues but also includes several citations to the minor leagues, Negro Leagues, women's baseball, college baseball, baseball in other countries, and other non-major-league-related topics. He covers the subjects he feels are most important, such as Hall of Fame members, others not in the Hall who had a significant impact on the game, teams, stadiums, rules, awards, fielding positions, and major statistical categories. Entries range in length from a few sentences to more than a page. Other features are an explanatory listing of acronyms and abbreviations, a chronology, an introductory essay, and 12 appendixes of statistical lists. The book concludes with an extensive (46-page) bibliography. Although the work differs in approach and scope from other well-regarded publications on the sport, such as The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Encyclopedia of Baseball Statistics, and The Baseball Encyclopedia, it contains an abundance of information on a broad range of topics and deftly fills the need for a single-volume general overview of the nation's pastime and its history.
VERDICT An informative resource for students, beginning researchers, and anyone wanting a basic introduction to baseball in the United States and elsewhere.
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