Mostly Minor Leaguers by John Clifford: a review

This book’s a survey of the minor league baseball teams who played in Decatur, Illinois. It’s basically a year-by-year overview; for each year the author gives short portraits of the key players and some clues about the team quality. Some players (and managers, and an occasional executive) get a longer writeup. On the whole it’s competently done, and more interesting than you’d expect. It’s also nicely typeset, and contains some excellent photographs.

That said: This is local history, and has the strengths and weaknesses of much local history. It reads like it was written as a long series of separately-composed essays. Its annual surveys are neither standardized in format nor clearly defined. The book has no real internal organization. There are enough errors in the book that I’d not use it for a source without double-checking it against others.

All in all, a valuable book. I’ve just a few reservations about it.

This review was originally posted on LibraryThing.

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