Zack Hample

Overview of "Watching Baseball Smarter"

Overview of Watching Baseball Smarter


Watching Baseball Smarter was the eighth-best selling sports book in America in 2007, and it's currently in its 16th printing. It's a great read for anyone who'd like to learn about baseball and have a few laughs in the process.

The book covers history and strategy. It explains the basics and the esoteric. There are illustrations and diagrams and charts and anecdotes and statistics and quirky footnotes. There's trivia. There's even a section on why guys are always grabbing their crotches. And there's plenty of serious stuff about pitching, hitting, base running, fielding, umpires, uniform numbers, rules, stadiums, steroids, superstitions, salaries, surgeries, and so much more.

There's also an extensive glossary of baseball slang. Do you know what a "courtesy trot" is? Or the definition of "Steve Blass Disease"? How about the phrase "bees in the hands"? (And while we're at it, do you know the origin of the Baltimore Chop? Or the story of the only player to pitch ambidextrously more than once? Can you name the ten switch-hitters in the Hall of Fame? Do you know how exactly the catcher might change his signs when there's a runner on second base? Or the difference between a splitter and a forkball? How about when the single earflap became a required addition for batting helmets? Did you know that in the 1870s, the batter could request a high or low pitch and that the umpire could ask the spectators for help if he missed a play? This is all very important.)

The idea is that this book is written for fans BY A FAN, not by a former player siphoned through a ghost writer, or by some way-too-serious announcer who's trapped in the broadcast booth.

Got a girlfriend or clueless uncle who needs to learn the game? Got a baseball-obsessed friend or boss that you wish you could impress? Need party favors for your kid's birthday? Need to show someone that baseball isn't boring? Wish your parents knew more about your favorite sport? This is the book.

Click here to see what other baseball fans have said about it, click here to read some official book reviews by the media, and click here to buy it from Amazon.