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17 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
I recently got into Baseball and was desperate for a book aimed at people who really know very little about it. I knew the basics, such as the difference between a ground out and a fly out, but wanted to put some substantial meat on the bones. I purchased this book, together with baseball for dummies and beyond batting average. This book was fantastic, the other 2 have...
Published on 4 Jun 2011 by Pete McCue

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Assumes too much knowledge
I really wanted to get into Baseball, I purchased ESPN America solely for that purpose. I love the colour, the glamour and the statistics...so I needed something to help me understand.
Unfortunately this book doesn't help me, it's far too Americanised, poorly constructed and doesn't give enough basic information. But my biggest criticism is that it assumes the reader...
Published on 1 May 2012 by David Murray


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 4 Jun 2011
By 
Pete McCue (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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I recently got into Baseball and was desperate for a book aimed at people who really know very little about it. I knew the basics, such as the difference between a ground out and a fly out, but wanted to put some substantial meat on the bones. I purchased this book, together with baseball for dummies and beyond batting average. This book was fantastic, the other 2 have their strong points, but for anyone in a similar position to me, they should buy this book now.

It guides you not just through the rules, but also such useful stuff as how the draft works (so different from NFL draft which i am much more familiar with,) what/why players chew and what pine tar is. Having read this book I feel i can sit and watch ESPN America all day long and actually understand what I am watching. At it's most basic level Baseball is a very simple game, it's just been Americanised to make it seem complicated. This book kind of breaks down these barriers by explaining it all in plain English. Very highly recommended.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go from Beginning Watcher to Vivid Describer of the Action, 18 Sep 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Watching Baseball Smarter will appeal to youngsters around 9-12 who are eager to grab as much baseball knowledge as possible by attending and watching games on television. For those young people, scoring, colorful terms, and obscure rules can make the game seem more mysterious than it is. At the same time, learn those elements of active watching and a youngster can develop the basics to enjoy being a lifelong fan.

If someone had given me this book at that age, I would have treasured Watching Baseball Smarter above all over gifts I got that at that time. I would have been most thrilled by the illustrations of how the various pitches are thrown.

Remember that observation when you consider if you know any budding fans who would be thrilled to have this book.

As for the claim that the book is also for semi-experts and deeply serious geeks, I don't think so. I didn't see any material that wasn't well known to me by the time I was 15. And I was hardly a semi-expert or a deeply serious geek. I just enjoyed watching and attending the games.

Don't give this book to a serious baseball fan; you'll embarrass yourself if you do.

Here are few questions to test your ability to enjoy the book:

1. What is the infield fly rule?

2. What is a double switch?

3. What is a catcher's earned run average?

4. What is a safety squeeze?

5. How do you keep score?

If know all five, this book isn't for you. If you know four, you'll get an occasional nugget from the book. If you know three or fewer, this book is a good choice for you.

On this reading, the main pleasure was from remembering when I first learned the material and from an occasional bit of trivia that was new to me. The former pleasure was what kept me reading, and I was disappointed that the book was aimed mostly at an elementary level . . . having found the subtitle to be misleading in terms of the book's relevance for me.

Play ball!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin, 2 Nov 2012
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I'm a relative newbie baseball fan who, over the last couple of years, from the 'wrong' side of the Atlantic (for viewing purposes, at least) has become an obsessive Blue Jays fan.

I know the difference between an ERA and a WHIP. I can appreciate a 6-4-3 double play and I am easily impressed by anyone who can switch-hit. But I wanted to know more and the title of Mr. Hample's book seemed to offer the opportunity to increase my knowledge. And that's exactly what it did: informative, funny and well-written - all that I hoped for and exactly what it said on the cover.

The only thing that prevented it from being a five star review was that it hasn't been updated since 2008, which was a shame as it was factually a little out of date.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Beginner, 21 July 2009
By 
J. M. Levey (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I purchased this book as an absolute beginner, didn't have the first clue about baseball, and hoped it would explain the basic rules. It didn't. However, I easily found those on the internet and this book was and still is a fantastic guide. It explains just about everything anyone could ever want to know about the game in an interesting and clear way. As long as you know what a groundball is this book is fab!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 3 Aug 2009
By 
Mrs. L. Steel - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
really good for those who don't know anything about baseball but like to watch it on tv
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow...A real home run!, 15 Sep 2011
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This book really blew me away, AT LAST a fan friendly book, one that actually speaks to you. This has been so far the most valuable purchase on THE best sport in the WORLD! I knew some of the general basic stuff but this book has really boosted my knowledge of baseball, covering everything from stratigic baserunning, to scoring, learning game slang and also other little things you wouldn't know about the sport.

By far the best baseball book i have read, even the baseball for dummies (which can sometimes be a bit 'empty' in content and occasionally be a bit 'dence'. Wether your a new comer, casual follower or someone teaching their kids. However if you have been watching the 'big game' for years, i probably wouldn't go out straight away and buy it as you'd probably only get 5 or 6 pages tops out of this book.

Great as a gift for that baseball fan in your family, or even a curious person who has stumbled across the 5 Live Sports Extra coverage, even have seen a game at their local diamond this is the book for you.

Get the word out, this is the best sport in the world!

Informative: 10/10
Useful 10/10
Bang for buck (worth it's money) 10/10
Author: 10/10
Fun: 8/10
Illustrations: 5/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging read, 18 Oct 2010
By 
L. Garner "Garns" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Bought this book as an interested UK based baseball fan to learn some of the quirks of the game. Was mightily impressed. Has all the basics, advances to the more complex and keeps you engaged with interesting tid-bits along the way. A must for any baseball fan!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watching baseball.............., 15 Sep 2009
By 
R. Murphy "moggie 13" (salisbury plain,wilts,uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I got into baseball a few years ago,but still find myself asking the poor guy (or gal) next to me at Fenway the question - what was that about?
This book is informative,witty funny & well written,with an excellent glossary of terms (which I use when I can see a game on the web.
A must for the complete newby or the seasoned follower of the Red Sox,White Sox,Cubs,Cardinals,Brewers,Mets,Blue Jays,Angels,Rays............................
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book that explains and entertains, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan's Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks (Kindle Edition)
I knew nothing about Baseball three weeks ago when I picked up a game for my console to try it out. I watched a couple of games on ESPN and started to figure it out, but you can only learn so much by watching a sport that the announcers don't explain because they assume their whole audience grew up playing it.

This book is excellent. It is well written, explains everything in layman's terms and is entertaining to read. The author goes through the rules, the history and the controversies of Baseball and I just wanted to keep on reading. None of it was dry, boring or statistical.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for an armchair viewer in the UK, 6 Oct 2011
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As a follower of Baseball in the UK, I found this book an invaluable guide to improving my knowledge and expanding my horizons. I like to think of it as the book that covers all the things that you would be told by a more knowledgeable fan when your interest in baseball has been piqued, which is especially useful in a niche sport such as baseball. The breadth of topics discussed keeps the book interesting throughout, and you finish it with a far better appreciation of the sport as a whole.

Incidentally, Zack has wrote another book 'the Baseball', which while interesting is no-where near as all-inclusive and enjoyable.
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