Oriole Magic is the story of the 1983 Baltimore Orioles and their quest for a World Series win. This book is boring, and I mean booooooooooooring. Written by Thom Loverro, this man apparently loves stats because the book is very statistical. I mean its baseball so you expect that, but he’s giving like batter to batter pitch counts, it’s just unnecessary and way too much to stay interested. And this is coming from me, a huge baseball and Oriole fan. Another thing I really didn’t like about this book is the author takes every chance he can to shit on Earl Weaver, that’s right, one of the greatest managers of all time, just downed at every turn, it’s fucking insane. There also seem to be multiple saviors and turning points of the season. Seems to me this is something you can really only have one of. The book it’s that long only clocking in at 244 pages but it felt like it took ages to read. I’m not quite sure who I could recommend this to; they’d have to be a super die hard Oriole fan and love statistical information. And really even then I’m not sure how much they’d enjoy this.
While at 169 pages this isn’t the longest baseball book ever written it may be my favorite. Jim Palmer is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Earl Weaver is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) managers of all time. Together they were a great time, a friendship filled with what some people might as a love hate relationship. Written by Jim Palmer and Jim Dale this takes us from 1965 to 1983, a pretty complete list if I do say so myself. This is filled with great Palmer and Weaver stories, a great read for any baseball fan and a must read for any Baltimore Orioles fan.
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Louis Berney is obviously a baseball fan, and a Baltimore Orioles fan. “Tales from the Orioles Dugout” presents a great splash of stories and information about a lot of players that have gone through the organization, some that you may expect to see and some that you may not expect. 202 pages we get everything from Bob Turley in 1954 to Mike Mussina in 2000. The chapters aren’t too long, everyone only gets a few pages so you get more of a scatter-gun effect of Orioles stories than a textbook of Orioles history and information which I think works great for this book. This is one that most baseball fans would enjoy and any Oriole fan should have.
Harvey Rosenfeld tells the story of Cal Ripken jr, in 281 pages we get everything from Cal growing up and playing the sport for fun as a kid to Cal Ripken jr breaking Lou Gehrig’s streak. The book even includes a great introduction by Cal Ripken sr. It’s a pretty good intro to Cal Ripken Jr but not the best book in the world. On a scale of one to ten I’d have to give this one about a four. If you’re a casual baseball fan with some time to kill you might want to check this one out but if you’re looking for the definitive story about the all-star short stop I think we’re all still waiting.
Filed under: Autobiographies and Biographies, Books, Reviews | Tagged: Baltimore, baltimore orioles, books, cal ripken, cal ripken jr, cal ripken sr, harvey rosenfeld, iron man, Lou Gehrig, orioles, review, Reviews | Leave a Comment »
I like Cal Ripken jr, however I think he’s overrated. He totally revolutionized the position of Short Stop (with the help of Earl Weaver putting him there). That part of the infield will never be the same again because of him. Arguably the best person to ever play short stop, arguably one of the best to play the game.
He’s got the streak record, a nineteen time All-Star selection, World Series champion in 1983, two time Gold Glove Award winner (1991, 1992), eight time silver Slugger Award winner (1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994), two time American League MVP (1983, 1991), 1982 American League Rookie of the Year, two time MLB All-Star Game MVP (1991, 2001), 1992 Roberto Clemente Award, 1992 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, 1991 Home Run Derby winner, named a member of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Also A member of the MLB Hall of Fame, and the Baltimore Orioles have retired his number (#8).
I’d say these speak for themselves as being a great baseball player. However as a writer, not so much. This includes with help from Donald T. Phillips. Somehow they managed to fill 272 pages. Not to say this book is all bad, I got it for free, I’d say I’ve got my money’s worth. It has a lot of great baseball stories in it, they’re sprinkled in between the other shit that’s on the pages. If the book was full of just them it would be excellent, unfortunately they make up about a quarter of the book. The rest of this book is basically Cal Ripken Jr saying how great he is and why he’s so great. I think the right person could have written this book and it may have come off as an inspirational book, however Cal just comes off as a douche bag. He seems arrogant and totally unreal, which is really weird because he doesn’t come off that way at all when talking about baseball. Hell half of the baseball stories are when he was in a slump of one sort or another. Basically what I’m going for is, if you end up with this book, just skip around to the baseball stuff and avoid the rest unless you want Cal to seem like a dickbag. And Cal, write a baseball book, not a ‘how great I am’ book.