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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best sports book I have ever read!
Firstly, I am a big fan of cricket, I have a great passion for the game. Last year I visited Canada, where I saw a bit of baseball and I found the sport entertaining. I am even staying up til the early hours in the morning to watch it now! To find both of these similar sports in one book is as good as it sounds.
Ed Smith writes the baseball side of things like he has...
Published on 20 Aug 2002 by abdulkadir3

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising debut - Better to come?
If Ed Smith writes a book about the County Cricket circuit, it could well be very good. Where he inhabits home territory in "Playing Hard Ball", the writing is compelling and natural. When he writes of Baseball, (which comprises the majority of the book) his efforts often begin to grind to the uninitiated reader. In seeking to compare and contrast the two games, Smith...
Published on 3 Sep 2002 by Careless Heart


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best sports book I have ever read!, 20 Aug 2002
This review is from: Playing Hard Ball: County Cricket and Big League Baseball: A Kent County Cricketer's Journey into Big League Baseball (Hardcover)
Firstly, I am a big fan of cricket, I have a great passion for the game. Last year I visited Canada, where I saw a bit of baseball and I found the sport entertaining. I am even staying up til the early hours in the morning to watch it now! To find both of these similar sports in one book is as good as it sounds.
Ed Smith writes the baseball side of things like he has played the game himself. It is great to see how many similarities both games have. This book has a great balance of both sports and is well written. However, an interest in both sports is probably needed to fully enjoy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising debut - Better to come?, 3 Sep 2002
By 
Careless Heart (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Playing Hard Ball: County Cricket and Big League Baseball: A Kent County Cricketer's Journey into Big League Baseball (Hardcover)
If Ed Smith writes a book about the County Cricket circuit, it could well be very good. Where he inhabits home territory in "Playing Hard Ball", the writing is compelling and natural. When he writes of Baseball, (which comprises the majority of the book) his efforts often begin to grind to the uninitiated reader. In seeking to compare and contrast the two games, Smith often tries too hard to find parallels and strains to keep the narrative flowing freely.
There are many deft touches and the scope of his own reading is impressive in a 25 year old pro sportsman. However, there are times when he seems out of his depth, particularly when dealing with Anglo-American feeling post September 11th.
With Simon Hughes now retired to the Analyst's couch, there is definitely a place for a contemporary cricketer to chronicle the domestic game and Ed Smith shows here that he has the skills required.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 9 July 2012
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London (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Playing Hard Ball: County Cricket and Big League Baseball: A Kent County Cricketer's Journey into Big League Baseball (Hardcover)
Half way through and enjoying very much. I have just read The Fielder and wanted to find out more about baseball - this seemed a great way to do so as a book written by a cricketer trying out the alternative sport.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to baseball for an Englishman, 7 Nov 2002
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Headhunter "g-zero" (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Playing Hard Ball: County Cricket and Big League Baseball: A Kent County Cricketer's Journey into Big League Baseball (Hardcover)
First off I must declare a personal interest in this book. Ed Smith's father taught me English at A-level (a B grade, but I don't hold it against him) and Ed himself was a couple of years below me at school. Nevertheless I assure you this book is well worth the read, even from an impartial point of view.
I read it before a recent trip to California which happily coincided with the 2002 World Series - a rare all-Californian affair. Ed's descriptions of being in a World Series team's hometown during the event are very accurate (although sadly I never got to attend a Giants home game I did watch them with some fiercely partisan Giants supporters), not least in conveying quite what baseball means to Americans. Unlike one of the other reviewers I think Ed captured the human ties of the Special Relationship post-September 11 very well - the most evocative moment being when he tells of how the Star Spangled Banner had an unexpectedly emotional impact on him. The book is not just about cricket and baseball, early on Ed admits he bought into European anti-Americanism but as he spends more time understanding Americans through their national game he realises the error of his youthful ways!
Ed manages to bring baseball to life for those of us brought up believing cricket is a man's game whereas baseball is just glorified rounders. By drawing the many parallels between the two national games he achieves this in a way that makes it more accessible to an Englishman.
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