Mr. Gersbeck's book is an ambitious project; taking on the topic of baseball in that decade. His research is extremely vast and informative. It is an attempt to show the reader a comprehensive overview of the game and how it changed during the decade.
You'll get all the stats and highlights of the major players and World Series, but this book is more than just a statistical forum.
Right from the beginning, Mr Gersbeck lays out his intent of the book "The pages that follow is my attempt to sort out, categorize, and make sense of ten great years of baseball. This was the book I always wanted to read but could never find. I review each season, stopping along the way to mention
divisional races, individual achievements of note, and post-season highlights. Then I created Top 10 rankings for every position, plus managers. In that regard, only a player/manager performance from 1970-79 is taken into consideration, and each player is only considered at a single position other than DH, which gets some attention in its
own right later in the book."
His organization in the Table of Contents is the roadmap that takes the reader on the journey through the 1970's with Summaries for all the seasons from 1970-1979, Player Summaries:1st Base, 2nd Base, Shortstop, 3rd Base Catcher Left Field Center Field Right Field .Starting Pitcher Relief Pitcher Top Managers, Top Defensive Players, Top Clutch Players, Top Power/Speed Men, Top Designated Hitters and Longest Tape Measure Home Runs, Team Summaries and Best teams and players of the decade.
Although you might not agree with Mr. Gresbeck's picks for the best players, and every team he thought were the best, it does not matter. You learn about the players and teams as you see the author's material facts that lead him to that conclusion and when he chose it.
In addition, good discussion on facts I forgot about: like the Philadelphia Phillies were one of the better teams, winning 3 straight divisions but failing to make it past the NL Championships and into the World Series.
Also, Hank Aaron's magic number 715 is discussed and stuff like major trades and new arrivals.
The magic of the 1975 Series and Carlton Fisk's famous homer trying to lead the ball fair by jumping up and down bring the reader back to a time that no longer exists.
Finally, the book wrapped up reviewing the All-Star Games of the 70’s as well as the top ten moments of the 70’s. They were again very thorough and well thought out for the book. I thought it was a little odd that there was no World Series section. There was obviously some dominance by certain teams in the 70’s but for the complete package it should have been in there, in my opinion. Lastly, there is a very detailed appendix included in this book that covers all the normal statistics of the decade.
I like this book. I think Mr. Gersbeck did a wonderful job in organizing the book and keeping it interesting amongst the dry statistics. Mr. Gersbeck does achieve his aim of reaching out and explaining Baseball in the 1970's, with wonderful research, excellent photos, detailed analysis and an eye of the important events that made the decade special in baseball history.
I would recommend anyone who is a fan of baseball to pick up a copy of this book. I had the priviledge of reading the book before it hit the stands thanks to the author. It is time well spent.