The Fifth Season: Tales of My Life in Baseball
"If you were much of a boy growing up in the Maspeth section of Queens in the late 1930s and 1940s, you had the baseball fever. It seemed contagious, but it struck mostly from within... Often, in later years, when I was writing a long series of books on the game, some well-intended philistine would ask to have explained to him the fascination with baseball. I offered my stock answer: 'If you have to ask the question, you'll never understand the answer."
With this small confession Donald Honig begins his charming memoir of a life devoted to the charms of baseball, including the many great figures of the game he has known in the past half-century. Unlike many prominent chroniclers of baseball, Mr. Honig once played organized ball himself. At sixteen he was promising enough that he was signed to a minor-league contract by the Boston Red Sox and shipped to Florida for spring training - where he enjoyed a brief, exciting, and often hilarious career.
How he made the uncommon transition from failed ballplayer to successful novelist and distinguished baseball historian is told with lovely insights and anecdotal delight.