Last season's glorious The Football Book provides the template for this year's The Baseball Book, which, like its predecessor, brings to bear the fabulous photographic and journalistic style we've all come to recognize in Sports Illustrated magazine. Rob Fleder returns as supervising editor for this historical celebration of the summer game, which features stunning color photos of big players and big plays even the equipment sometimes from unusual and thrilling angles. There are plenty of stirring black-and-white shots as well, of revered old-timers and classic on-field moments from the past. Several dozen essays from the SI archives feature the all-star writing talents of guys like Frank Deford, Leigh Montville, Tom Verducci, Roger Kahn and Rick Reilly, and the text is interspersed with all-decade teams, descriptions of important yearly match-ups, lists of colorful nicknames, statistics on best and worst teams and more. Sidelights on pop culture and world affairs add generational context. It's simply a gorgeous effort, and, like its football counterpart, is agreeably priced.

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