No sport embraces its wild history quite like baseball, especially in memorabilia and objects. Sure, there are baseball cards and team pennants. But there are also huge balls, giant bats, peanuts, cracker jacks, eyeblack, and more, each with a backstory you have to read to believe. In THE 34-TON BAT, Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin tells the real, unvarnished story of baseball through the lens of all the things that make it the game that it is.
Rushin weaves these rich stories - from ballpark pipe organs played by malevolent organists to backed up toilets at Ebbets Field - together in their order of importance (from most to least) for an entertaining and compulsive read, glowing with a deep passion for America's Pastime. The perfect holiday gift for casual fans and serious collectors alike, THE 34-TON BAT is a true heavy hitter.
"Rushin approaches his passion with a mischievous gleam in his eye, a point of view captured perfectly in this anecdote-filled account of the sport's odd corners.... In an era of sports literature when societal significance and statistical algorithms aren't always as fun as we'd hoped, Rushin has reintroduced readers to silliness. Read it with a smile." -- Booklist (starred review)
"The 34-Ton Bat is full of bits of information that will give even the most knowledgeable fan a new understanding of the game and those who have played it.... Certain elements of the game will never seem quite the same after reading Mr. Rushin's book." -- Wall Street Journal
"A refreshing look at the game.... The 34-Ton Bat is Rushin at his best: crisp and snappy writing, and a wide-angle view of baseball that will make you stop and think - and in some cases, laugh out loud." -- The Tampa Tribune
"A lot of the fun in Rushin's exhaustively researched, very readable history comes from learning about the people behind the innovations.... Rushin's exuberant prose describes the continuous evolution of baseball paraphernalia." -- Publishers Weekly
"Few objects escape the notice of Rushin (The Pint Man, 2010, etc.), who invests each not only with the skill of a career sportswriter, but also with the passion of a fan... Not just sportswriting, but also graceful and gripping cultural history." -- Kirkus
"Rushin delights trivia buffs with little-known knowledge and a wicked sense of humor....THE 34-TON BAT is a perfect hit for fall." -- The Daily Herald
"[Rushin] expertly shows baseball's omnipresence at every turn of modern American history with an eye for the eccentric and flowing anecdotal prose. The 34-Ton Bat is a sheer delight, tailored to the sports fan but sure to enthrall any reader with a taste for the weird, wacky and wonderful." -- Shelf Awareness
"I got so addicted to The 34-Ton Bat, I wished the book weighed 34 tons. I'd have happily finished that, too." -- Rick Reilly