Book Review – The Hall: A Celebration of Baseball’s Greats


The Hall: A Celebration of Baseball’s Greats: In Stories and Images, the Complete Roster of Inductees will be officially released on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
Image Credit: Little, Brown, and Company.
The Hall comes just over year since they took us Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame in April 2013.

Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw pens the foreword. Brokaw touches on what baseball means to the national identity in America and the role that the Hall of Fame plays in a diverse and evolving America.

Every plaque is featured, be it players, managers, umpires, pioneers or executives. Every position and manager chapters are introduced by an essay of someone that was elected to the Hall of Fame in that position. The only exceptions are umpires and executives. Doug Harvey is the only living umpire and Pat Gillick is the only living executive. I’m not sure why those sections were not introduced by Harvey or Gillick but regardless, this book is a must-read and must-own for baseball fans.

Essays were written by Nolan Ryan, Carlton Fisk, Orlando Cepeda, Joe Morgan, George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr., Jim Rice, Robin Yount, Hank Aaron, and Tom Lasorda. These essays add some new insight to these Hall of Famers and their stories.

Cepeda, who played with the St. Louis Cardinals for a brief period, wrote the essay introducing the first basemen. In his essay, Cepeda shares his thoughts on what it meant to play in the city of St. Louis.

"I had a great time playing in St. Louis. The fans embraced me immediately. This is not a put-down of any other place, but to me, St. Louis is the best baseball town in America. It’s really a small city, but they still draw 3 million fans every year. Their fans make going to the ballpark every day a great experience. These people are so passionate and so knowledgeable about baseball. They love the game with heart and soul. When I look back on my career, I was really fortunate because I played in some great baseball cities–San Francisco, Boston, Oakland, Atlanta, and Kansas City. But none of them can match St. Louis."

As far as I can tell, the official 75th Anniversary book is unique and a first for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. In this complete registry of inductees, minus the Class of 2014, there are plaque images, photographs, and extended biographies. Managers only have the plaques and extended bios unlike the players featured.

With Father’s Day coming up, it makes for a great gift.

Some Hall of Fame events coming up over the next few months:
May 23-25, Hall of Fame Classic
June 12-14, 75th Anniversary Birthday and Member Celebration
July 25-28, Hall of Fame Weekend
August 2, A Concert in Celebration of the Hall of Fame’s 75th Anniversary