‘Invisible Men: Life in Baseball’s Negro Leagues’ by Donn Rogosin

(*** Three out of Five Stars)

Much as I love baseball (I both played and administered the sport) the fascination for stats can become a little overwhelming. For me, at least.

And this was reflected in the writing style of ‘Invisible Men.’ Numerical stats weren’t the issue, but the sheer amount of names dropped in made it hard to follow for someone trying to learn about the history of the sport.

Still interesting enough, and I’m not sure how it could have been presented differently, but it just didn’t read very well in my opinion.

The Way We Were.

“Tick.”
“Tack.”
“Tick.”
“Tack.”
The voices amplify as the tension increases. Eventually, the winner’s declared when his size ten, right guttie overlaps that of his opponent’s size nine left.

To the victor, the spoils – in this case, first pick of the assembled masses. At this early stage, tactical choices are not made. Simply the best. And the beaming smile on the face of the proud kid tells its own story. Today, and very possibly yesterday and tomorrow also, he is the best. At least in the eyes of his loyal pal.

The vanquished chooses next, then the victor again. The process is repeated until one poor wee soul remains. Invariably it’s the tubby lad, sucking his thumb and sporting National Health glasses held together by a small Elastoplast. He is grudgingly welcomed by his reluctant captain.

“You can play in goal!”
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