Baseball Books: Golden Ages on the Diamant

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Like no other sport, baseball has nostalgia woven into its DNA.

Old men can still recall the scent of footpad oil lovingly massaged into their five-fingered Rawlings fielder’s gloves. They remember the first Major League game their fathers took them to—in my case, the second Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium, on June 13, 1948, a sold-out farewell to the slugger who would die of cancer just two months later. . Random stats remain in the mind—Joe DiMaggio batted just .263 in 1951, his last season—as do the names of fringe players, such as reliever “Hooks” Iott, who toiled briefly for the Giants in the 1940s.

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