Susanita (bardhlul) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 42 - Living on the Black by John Feinstein

Pitchers are the heart of baseball, and John Feinstein tells the story of the game today through one season and two great pitchers working in the crucible of the New York media market. Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina have seen it all in the Major Leagues and both entered 2007 in search of individual milestones and one more shot at The World Series-Glavine with the Mets, Mussina five miles away with the Yankees. The two veterans experience very different seasons--one on a team dealing with the pressure to get to a World Series for the first time in seven years, the other with a team expected to be there every year. Taking the reader through contract negotiations, spring training, the ups of wins and losses, and the people in their lives-family, managers, pitching coaches, agents, catchers, other pitchers--John Feinstein provides a true insider's look at the pressure cooker of sports at the highest level.

The subtitle of this book is "Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember." It's a thorough but not tedious examination of the particular season through the lens of these two pitchers and teams in the Big Apple. A few years ago I tried to read this in parallel to the baseball season, but I got behind and set it aside for a while. This year in response to the Read Harder challenge, I finally finished it and found it to be a pleasant reminder of summer during the weird weather and hectic holiday activity of December. Though I'm less fond of Feinstein's commentary on various sports programs, I enjoy his books because he manages a good balance between accessibility for the casual sports fan and thorough detail for the more serious fan. In this case, the most meaningful feature is an amusing personal dedication from the author to myspouse, who also works in sports media. We also have a copy of a later edition, with an afterword about the two pitchers' careers beyond 2007.

For a completely different perspective on the same season, check out novelist Jane Heller's Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees.
Tags: sport

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