Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

More new books

April 02, 2006|Nick Owchar;Kristina Lindgren

"Fantasyland: A Season on Baseball's Lunatic Fringe" by Sam Walker (Viking: 354 pp., $25.95) A sports columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Walker figured he'd have the inside edge when he joined a rotisserie baseball league. Fat chance. "Roto" baseball is played by some 5 million fanatics who think they'd be better managers than the real ones -- they pay fees to draft ideal rosters and use player stats as their dream teams face off on paper. Walker is quickly overwhelmed, but he loves every minute of it. Even in defeat, he admits "the trouble with this insidious game is that once you've played it, every other form of fandom is a pale substitute."

Nick Owchar

*

"Spalding's World Tour: The Epic Adventure That Took Baseball Around the Globe -- and Made It America's Game" by Mark Lamster (PublicAffairs: 344 pp., $26) Albert G. Spalding wasn't satisfied with being a top pitcher, three-time pennant-winning president of the Chicago White Stockings (now Cubs) and founder of the Spalding sports equipment empire. After the 1889 season, this future Hall of Famer, his White Stockings and an all-star team of National League players embarked on a 30,000-mile tour to spread the gospel of baseball around the world. Whether describing Spalding's proselytizers throwing balls from Egypt's Great Sphinx or playing for the Prince of Wales, Lamster brings back a little-known tale of grandeur and showmanship from baseball's distant past.

*

-- Kristina Lindgren

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|