I’ve read 19 baseball books this year, and enjoyed nearly all of them. Most of them a great deal. But there’s just one that seems to me essential: Mark Armour and Dan Levitt’s In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball. And it’s essential because it goes a long way toward explaining much of the last century of major-league baseball. How we got from there to here.The book is exceptionally well-researched, -reasoned, and -argued, and also exceptionally well-written.Full Disclosure Time! I consider both Mark and Dan friends! But while both have written books before, both together and alone, and I’ve enjoyed those books, too, this one’s a better, more important book than their others.Whilst reading In Pursuit of Pennants on my Kindle, I highlighted a few passages that particularly intrigued me, and some of those passages turned into questions that Mark and Dan were kind enough to answer via shared Google Doc (yes, sometimes technology really is our friend). Below, a very lightly edited version of our conversation…Rob: I’m fascinated by the thought of longtime Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss personally keeping a “dope book … filled with information on young players around the country, and he would often… Read full this story
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