Ninety Feet From Fame: Close Calls With Baseball Immortality
Publish Date: 2004-02-17
Author: Michael Robbins
Journalist and baseball historian Mike Robbins tells the gripping stories of dozens of players who came this close to baseball immortality. Their stories are dramatic, sometimes moving, even blackly funnyand theyre virtually unknown, even to die-hard fans. Robbins offers gripping accounts of the games, series, seasons, and careers that fell excruciatingly shortfrom forgotten near-heroes of the postseason such as Hal Smith and Chuck Hiller to players such as Harlond Clift (a great player trapped on a terrible club) and Jose Cruz Senior (a power hitter in a stadium that favored pitchers) who missed out because they spent their careers with the wrong team, in the wrong park, or in the wrong era. Robbins also tells the stories of players who missed their chance to join the all-time greats because of injury, illness, or other interruptionsthe likes of Smokey Joe Wood (injured thumb) and Eiji Sawamura (killed in World War II). Baseball fans will come away with exhilarating and sometimes heartbreaking stories, as well as a list of names, a treasury of surprising numbersand a deeper sense of the men who have played the game.