Among Stephen Jay Gould's , many gifts was his ability to write eloquently about baseball, his great passion. Through the years, the renowned palaentologist published numerous essays on the sport which have now for the first time been collected in a volume alive with all the condour and insight that characterised Gould's writing. Here are his thoughts on the complexities of childhood streetball and the joys of opening day; tributes to Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth and lesser-knowns such as deaf mute centrefielder 'Dummy' Hoy; and a frank admission of the contradictions inherent in being a lifelong Yankees fan with Red Sox season tickets. So, too, does Gould deftly apply the tools of evolutionary theory to the demise of the 0.400 hitter, the Abner Doubleday creation myth, and the imprbability of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. This book is a delight - an essential addition to Gould's remarkable legacy, and a fitting tribute to his love of the game.
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University and the curator for invertebrate palaeontology in the University's Museum of Comparative Zoology. He is the author of over twenty books, and received the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the MacArthur Fellowship. He died in May 2002.