There are baseball books and there are baseball books.
But for the baseball cognoscenti, there are just a few “must-have” classics:Ball Four by Jim Bouton. The Long Season by Jim Brosnan. Willie’s Time by Charles Einstein. And Seasons In Hell by Mike Shropshire, which was a hilarous first-person account of Mike’s travails serving as a daily beat writer covering the hapless 1972 Texas Rangers.
Now, in The Last Real Season, Shropshire captures the essence of a different time and different place in baseball, when the average salary for major leaguers was only $27,600…when the ballplayers’ drug of choice was alcohol, not steroids…when major leaguers sported tight doubleknit uniforms over their long-hair and Afros…and on July 28th, 1975, the day that famed Detroit resident Jimmy Hoffa went missing, the Detroit Tigers started a losing streak of 19 games in a row. On the day that the Tigers blew a 4-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, Shropshire recalls: “I drank three bottles of Stroh’s beer in less than a minute and wrote that ‘Jimmy Hoffa will show up in the left field stands with Amelia Earhart as his date before the Tigers will win another game.'”
And so it goes. Filled with just the kind of wonderful baseball stories that real fans crave, this is the funniest baseball book of the year.