Last year, I had the opportunity to help edit Dave Winfield’s book Dropping the Ball: Baseball’s Troubles and How We Can and Must Solve Them, which is now out in print.
I’ve never been a sports nut, but if I had to pick a sport to get behind, it would be baseball, if only because it was the one sport that resonated in me for most of my childhood. I understood it, unlike football. I could play it, or at least its female counterpart, softball. And I could appreciate its long, storied tradition in American history. When baseball’s popularity began to wane and basketball became the trendy sport du jour, I lamented the decline of legacy, which was replaced by marketing and celebrity.
So when I had the opportunity to work on a project by one of baseball’s greats, I jumped at the chance, and was pleased to see that some of my layman’s views fell into line with Winfield’s own. Although I don’t think that much can be done about the commercialism of sports as a whole, I do agree with his major points about the benefits of sports for kids, and that what the sports world in general needs is a good kick in the pants to unseat it from its pedestal of celebrity and return it to a level playing field for all fans.
It’s a good, fun read. And I’m saying that not just because I had a slight hand in the book, but because I had such an enjoyable time working on it.