Wednesday, May 26, 2010

S.F. Chronicle review

High Heat was included in a roundup of new titles in the San Francisco Chronicle. That's my old stomping grounds, as I used to work at the S.F. Examiner, which is right next door. Here's the short review:
"You can teach a good curveball, you can teach a changeup, but you can't teach arm speed. It's a God-given ability." So says pitcher Troy Percival in this highly entertaining exploration of the pitch that has made so many careers (and destroyed so many arms). Fascinating details emerge: Until 1887, batters could call for their preference: a high or low pitch. A high school coach recalls Nolan Ryan's budding skills: "Those kids were so scared, they'd swing at anything just to get out of there." When the Baltimore Orioles were too cheap to invest in a newfangled portable radar gun, manager Earl Weaver bought one himself, for $1,200.

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