Friday, July 22, 2011

Flip Flop Fly Ball

What a fun book!

Author Craig Robinson combines his love for baseball with his artistic and writing skills to produce one fun, eminently readable hardcover book. An Englishman, Robinson came to baseball later in life, but when he did, he fell whole-heartedly in love with the game. He had a lot of catching up to do, but this also gave him the ability to see baseball from a slightly different, skewed angle than Americans.

Not only is the book illustrated with original works of art, like the painting "SkyDome" which has a big, white roof hovering above, cloud-like, or the abstract piece called "Pirates Fan," which resembles a man nodding off in his chair, but it also includes some wacky charts and graphs. Like the one that shows the distance of all the pitches thrown during the 2006 MLB season, if you added them all up (8,318.5 miles). Or, one of my favorites, the graph that shows ballpark elevations. Coors Field is WAY up there!

Robinson's sense of humor comes through not only in his charts (and their captions), but also in his text. Some of the essays are personal, and describe how he came to love the game of baseball. Some talk about the cross-country trip he took to see the different ballparks. But then he also throws in some quirky ones, like the imagined interview with the dove that met his end from a Randy Johnson fastball.

This really is a fun book. My only complaint is that it is too short! I wanted more, which is always a good way to leave a reader.

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