Pomrenke: The baseball book that changed my life

From SABR member Jacob Pomrenke at The National Pastime Museum on October 14, 2015:

Any avid reader will tell you one of their favorite feelings is to get so engrossed in a good book that all sense of time is lost. You forget where you are and what you are doing. Your mind gets transported to another world.

I found myself transported to the South Side of Chicago, circa 1919, for the first time when I was about 16 years old. In some ways, I’ve never left. I’ve spent more than half my life reading and writing about the Black Sox Scandal—and it all started in the back of my family’s minivan on the way to Florida.

Eight Men Out, written by Eliot Asinof, has been called the definitive history about the fixing of the 1919 World Series. It’s not—and Asinof never intended it to be. In the half-century since the book was first published in 1963, we’ve learned a lot of new information about the scandal and everyone involved.

But the reason Eight Men Out remains near the top of so many “best baseball books” lists, including mine, is because it’s such a delicious entrée into baseball’s seedy underworld at the most critical point in the game’s history. While our understanding of the scandal has evolved in many ways from the story Asinof told, nothing can ever be written in the future about the Black Sox Scandal that has not been influenced by Eight Men Out. It is the anchor point from which our exploration will always begin.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/eight-men-out-eliot-asinof

Originally published: October 16, 2015. Last Updated: October 16, 2015.