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Baseball books hit heavy on personalities

Robert Whiting's Homepage at

Baseball books hit heavy on personalities

by Michael Point (Jul 9, 1989)

Digitized by Jessica Suchman and Catherine Nissley

The national pastime celebrates its heroes and itself Tuesday when the 60th baseball All-Star game is played in Anaheim, Calif. The sport's best talents will exhibit their skills on the diamond, paralleling what the most literate fans are doing on the printed page.

Baseball is easily the most literary of sports and each season produces dozens of new books devoted to the game and the people involved. Following [is one] of the best on the shelves at this season's halfway point:

Robert Whiting's You Gotta Have Wa (MacMillan/$18.95), which examines the curious cultural conflicts of baseball in Japan, is equally intriguing. The Japanese, who have been perfecting the art of baseball for more than 50 years, have developed an approach to the game, complete with rituals and code of honor, that is uniquely their own. Whiting's skillful account supplies a subtle contrast and comparison between the original and Japanese forms of the game.

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