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Why Is the Foul Pole Fair?: Or, Answers to the Baseball Questions Your Dad Hoped You Wouldn't Ask [Hardcover]

Vince Staten

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Kindle Edition 6.99  
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Paperback 19.34  

Book Description

Mar 2003
Chicken soup for the baseball lover's soul -- the inimitable Vince Staten takes you out to the ol' ballgame and answers all the baseball questions your dad hoped you wouldn't ask.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Description

About the Author

Vince Staten is the author of ten previous books, including Do Bald Men Get Half-Price Haircuts? and Do Pharmacists Sell Farms? His articles have appeared in the Saturday Review, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Kentucky Monthly, Bon Appetit, and others. He teaches feature writing at the University of Louisville and lives in Prospect, Kentucky, with his wife, Judy (their son, Will, is a sophomore in college), and a cat, Lassie. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written by a baseball fan, for the baseball fan. 2 April 2003
By J. Long - Published on Amazon.com
This book was amazing. It didn't change my life, but it did change the way I will watch a baseball game. If you've ever wondered why the foul pole was fair, why box seats are called box seats, how the scoreboard came to be, what the definition of a hot dog is (It's not pretty.), the history of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," or any number of other baseball things, this book is for you.

The book starts out with the author's memories of playing baseball as a kid and going with his family to see his first Major League game at Cincinnati's Crosley Field. Fast forward to 2002 and the author is now going to a Reds game with his son. Each description of the game morphs into a small history lesson on everything from how the glove became standard in the game of baseball, how bats are made, the daily job of a baseball beat writer, how a groundskeeper takes care of the field, and many many more things. You'll find yourself nodding your head and thinking, "Yeah, I've always wondered about that!"

For baseball fans, this book is a must read. For trivia fans, this book is a must read. This book truly enhanced my baseball experience and is something I plan to re-read from time to time.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An afternoon chat with a good friend 8 Jun 2004
By Robin C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was expecting an exhaustive encyclopedia of baseball trivia. This book is not that!

Instead, it's a meandering, enjoyable chat with a knowledgeable friend about baseball on a summer afternoon on the porch. Vince Staten frames his entire book around a big league game he attended with his grown son, but somehow every facet of that experience leads off on a tangent to a fascinating exploration of baseball stadium and game trivia from the ticket buying experience (which leads to essays on ticket printing and turnstiles), to telling his son about the time a shortstop lost a ball because it bounced off a pebble (which leads to an in-depth interview of a groundskeeper), to a certain snugness in the stadium seat (which leads to a well researched essay on studies through the decades of the width of the typical American backside).

These essays have certainly made my baseball game experiences more enjoyable and given me a store of trivia to trot out at parties!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Answers to Rarely Asked Questions 21 Jun 2003
By A. M. Sulkin - Published on Amazon.com
Vince Staten is a long time fan who has has written a baseball book almost entirely devoid of the common and usual ingredients found in most baseball books, such as statistics or rehashed history. Staten uses a baseball game attended by himself and his son to provide the reader with interesting information and anecdotes about non-playing aspects of the game and the sport. This book is not for fans into sabermetrics or player bios. This book is for fans who want to know more about topics peripheral to the actual game, such as how: stadiums are architected; playing fields are maintained; balls and bats are designed; ballpark food and souvenirs are selected and sold. We never really learn why foul poles and foul lines are fair in baseball, while their equivalents in other sports are not, but the the reader does enjoy learning more about the trivial details and background of baseball's infrastructure and history.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Look At The Game Behind The Seams....er, Scenes 24 May 2003
By W. C HALL - Published on Amazon.com
This is another in Vince Staten's entertaining and informative books that focus on a slice of Americana--in this case, the grand American game of baseball. I've enjoyed all of Staten's books that I've read so far, this one more than some, I think because of the personal touch he brings to it. His own childhood memories of the game should strike a resonant chord with a couple of generations, and his visit to Riverfront Stadium with his son truly helps us see things from a fan's eye-view. If you've ever wondered what goes on in the press box, why there aren't more concession stands or the technical issues involved in maintaining an infield or manufacturing a ball, you should find this book enjoyable. Staten writing is relaxed, easygoing and liberally sprinkled with humor. A great bedtime read!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Done 18 July 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
As the author watches a game with his son, some questions come to mind; he provides the reader answers to them in an entertaining way. I especially liked the true-to-life description of why catchers wear cups (chapter 13). It is a good, easy read for fans of all ages. You'll find answers to questions you weren't aware you didn't know the answer to.
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