May 21, 2009

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Splitters, Squeezes, and Steals: The Inside Story of Baseball’s Greatest Techniques, Strategies, and Plays, by Derek Gentile (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2009, 255 pages)

I’ve learned more about different pitches from this book than any other — how you hold the ball, what the path of the ball is, and which pitchers are and have been the best at each pitch. As the title conveys, it offers similar information on other parts of the sport, like base-stealing, fielding, even corking the bat. Really nice photographs, really clear diagrams — this is a great book for fans of any age to sit and pore over. A solid glossy-paged hardcover a little smaller than a standard coffee-table book, it gets a crisp, shiny A. —L.P.