The whole Barry thing got you down? Take a tip from the best “advertisers” yesterday:
Every spring the display tables of bookstores groan with the weight of countless titles on baseball — biographies, journalist’s memoirs, statistical guides and investigations into the public and private lives of notorious players, like (this year) Barry Bonds. In such a mix, Mark Lamster’s “Spalding’s World Tour” might be overlooked as just another sepia-tinted snapshot of baseball in the pre-Babe Ruth era. I hope not. Mr. Lamster brings to life a remarkable episode in the history of commerce, celebrity and sport….Spalding’s madcap promotional six-month tour—a 30,000-mile journey around the globe in 1888-89—is the centerpiece of Mr. Lamster’s entertaining book….In the course of his narrative, Mr. Lamster contrasts the struggles of baseball in the late 19th century to those of today. Even a century ago, there were battles over revenue sharing and feelings of antipathy between athletes and owners. Still, a modern fan who has grown tired of the grim drumbeat of steroids and scandal will find “Spalding’s World Tour” a welcome change of pace.
PS: We hear there’ll be a reading for this work of genius in New York next Monday at the Half King. 7 PM. We’ll be there….