Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Baseball Codes

Turbow, Jason, and Michael Duca. The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, & Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America's Pastime. New York: Pantheon, 2010. Print.

My Thoughts
As a baseball spectator, I didn't realize there were so many unwritten rules to "America's pastime" game.

There are 23 chapters in this book, each dealing with a different aspect of the Code baseball players are to adhere to (even if they don't know the rules).

I knew I'd like this book when the opening chapter begins with the infamous Nolan Ryan/Robin Ventura head lock. Ryan stories appear as examples several more times in the book, including the statement of how Ryan let batters know he didn't appreciate bunts (Turbow 99). Although I didn't know or remember every example described in this book of how the Code is broken or enforced, I did enjoy learning about the Code.

Last night, as I visited the Ballpark, I kept thinking about how easy it is for a runner on 2nd to steal signs or of the Kangaroo court (a clubhouse version of justice) that often raises money for charity. I looked at the game and the players a little differently.  I also thought about how the game has changed and often spectators don't root for teams, but support individual players. However, it felt last night that MY team was being encouraged all the way down the roster.

The book is researched and shows examples from all over the League (including a few reports of things happening in the minors). It was fun to remember the legacy, how the game changes and how some things in the game will always stay the same.

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