Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Greatest Game Ever Pitched: Juan Marichal, Warren Spahn, and The Pitching Dual of the Century

It's difficult to fathom one pitcher going nine innings today, let alone two starters going the distance in a sixteen inning marathon. But that is exactly what happened in July of 1963 as future Hall of Famers Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn battled in a 1-0 Giant victory over the Atlanta Braves. Actually, very little of this book is about the game itself; rather, Kaplan gives a concise biography of each pitcher, weaving their stories into different parts of the game. Some readers may not like how it is written-but I thought he tied things together nicely. I also thought it was appropriate that he briefly touched on other classic pitching performances, as well as a brief discussion of the theory of the 'pitch count' held by modern managers and pitching coaches. Finally, I think the author leaves the reader with a better appreciation for these two men and their stellar careers. With the advent of relief specialists, as well as the amount of money ball players make today, we will never see another game like it!

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