30 baseball books for April ’16, Day 7: Development of the change-up wasn’t a game changer?

614omnTkZvLThe book: “Baseball’s Game Changers: Icons, Record Breakers, Scandals, Sensational Series, and More”
The author: George Castle
The vital statistics: Lyons Press, 240 pages, $24.95 (Released Feb. 18)
Find it: At Amazon.com, at Vromans.com

The pitch: Lists work as a book hook, and lists that involve making one drill down deeper about history-changing stuff are even better for the brain.
The one orchestrated here by the Chicago-based Castle successfully manages to inspire reflection as much by veteran baseball observers as well as younger ones who might not have as much context to make such comparisons.
Simplistic in a nice way that sparks one to want to read more in depth about the intricate aspects of what each chapter covers, it is easy to get caught up in trying to reconstruct this ranking method and project what could have been possibly overlooked.
We’re thumbs up on all ends of where these arguments go from here.
11centerfield-cameraWho or what is No. 1?
It might seem like a simple out to name Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson as the two who moved the needle the most, so their ranking of Nos. 1 and 2 aren’t that surprising. Castle even says it’s splitting hairs as to which could be a top.
But by then following it up by slotting “Television” at No. 3, Marvin Miller at No. 4 and the “Black Sox Scandal” at No. 5, we quickly see how more thought was put into this, even if there are subsets of TV – Instant Replay (No. 21), Night time World Series games (No. 29) and the Center Field Camera (No. 47) — that eventually merit their own headings.
The impact of media on this list comes up as well with Radio (No. 22) and, sadly, the Decline of Newspapers (No. 48). It reinforces believes held that the game, like many sports that reach this zenith, could not have done so in a vacuum.
The key to investing time in any kind of lists goes back to trusting whomever puts it together.
In Castle, we’re good.
His 35-year career in the media business and serving as historian for the Chicago Baseball Museum puts his credentials up against anyone (although we’d enjoy someday to see a similar list put together by current MLB historian John Thorn).
Castle has also written books on the subject of baseball and history that include “When The Game Changed: An Oral History of Baseball’s Golden Age: 1969-1979” and “Baseball and the Media: How Fans Lose in Today’s Coverage of the Game.” Castle also credits dozens of others who helped him shape this content, including the Angels’ Tim Mead and the Dodgers’ Mark Langill, as well as Thorn himself.
If each chapter can be looked at as debate fodder, there’s some debate in that. It doesn’t have to be. It stands well enough on its own as a starting point to someone who would like to know more about why things happened, as it does to add more modern-day circumstances to put up against other pieces of known history.
indexOften overlooked things like the Trade Deadline (No. 33), Maury Wills and the Stolen Base (No. 27), Tommy John Surgery (No. 19) and Steel and Concrete Ballparks (No. 40) are as vital to the game’s history as some things that might be more obvious. We appreciate that kind of diligence in the thought process.
Now, let’s work on the list of 50-to-100 to include things like Pete Rose’s Baseball Ban, DodgerDogs and Exploding Scoreboards/Lack of Organ Music.

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