Spitballs, corked bats, sign stealing and, yes, even steroids – they’re all part of baseball, and they’re all part of Derek Zumsteg’s new book – The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball.
Checking in at just over 250 pages, it’s amazing how people have tried to get the upper hand throughout the history of baseball. From hard slides with your spikes up to shaving grooves in a bat – it seems like almost every trick in the book has been turned.
But The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball is more than just a chronicle of how people have tried to beat the rules of baseball – it’s an interesting study of how the game used to be played and how the rules have changed because of what people tried to get away with. Imagine if when a pitcher threw to first to get a runner back on the base, the first baseman could push him off the bag and tag him out…it used to be legal!
It’s a bit longer than I think it should have been – it seems a lot of time got spent on the Black Sox scandal, which even though it’s one of the most famous examples of cheating in baseball history, it seemed like it got more pages than other aspects of the book. Nevertheless, The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball by Derek Zumsteg is an interesting look at how baseball has changed because those that have tried to cheat their way to the top. It makes up for its length with some humor that keeps the book from getting too serious.
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