Anatomy of Baseball

Edited by Lee Gutkind

Stefan Fatsis sends his "stunningly perfect, consummately perfect, why-would-anyone-use-anything-else? perfect" glove to be restored by the Glove Designer at Rawlings; Susan Perabo considers retiring from her imaginary career and assesses the likelihood of women finding actual careers on the baseball field; Sean Wilentz imagines a Cooperstown Fans' Hall of Fame, with its cowbells, frying pans, bedsheet banners, and more. And in one of the three previously published, now-classic pieces in the collection, George Plimpton reflects on the slow demotion of aging or slumping players from pitcher to first base, to the outfield. United by the authors' fervent love of the game, these essays remind us of the unique role baseball plays in our national history and collective imagination.

Anatomy of Baseball will also be available as Issue #34 of Creative Nonfiction--please note that the book contains many special essays not found in the journal issue.

Table of Contents

Foreword Yogi Berra
Introduction Lee Gutkind
At the Park Kevin Baker
My Glove: A Biography Stefan Fatsis
My Brilliant Career Susan Perabo
Field of Dreams George Plimpton
The Southworths Michael Shapiro
My Outfield J.D. Scrimgeour
Oriole Magic Elizabeth Bobrick
Nostalgia: The 1950s and My Mitts Christopher Buckley
An Ode to Baseball Caps Frank Deford
Pesäpallo: Playing at the Edge of the World Caitlin Horrocks
Freddy the Fan Sean Wilentz
The Inherent Human Transgression That Is Umpiring: A Slovene Case Study Rick Harsch
First Base of Last Resort Matt Wood
Ya Gotta Believe John Thorn
Take Me Back to the Ball Game (Variations on a Theme) Warren Goldstein
Spring Training Lights Jake Young
The Baseball Pastoral Jeff Greenfield
On the Ball Roger Angell


Roger Angell

Roger Angell is a writer and fiction editor for the New Yorker. His baseball books include The Summer Game, Late Innings, Season Ticket,... read more

Kevin Baker

Kevin Baker is the author of four novels, including City of Fire trilogy: Dreamland, Paradise Alley, and Strivers Row. He is currently at... read more

Elizabeth Bobrick

Elizabeth Bobrick's work has appeared in Fiction, Salon, The Hartford Courant, and other publications. She has taught Classical Studies at... read more

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley is the author of fourteen books of poetry and editor of several anthologies. He has published two books of creative... read more

Philip F. Deaver

Philip F. Deaver is the thirteenth winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts... read more

Frank Deford

Frank Deford is the author of fifteen books and two screenplays. He is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, a commentator for National... read more

Stefan Fatsis

Stefan Fatsis writes about sports for The Wall Street Journal and talks about them on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.... read more

Warren Goldstein

Dr. Warren Goldstein is professor of history and chair of the history department at the University of Hartford, where he was the 2006... read more

Jeff Greenfield

Jeff Greenfield is a senior political correspondent at CBS, host of PBS's CEO Exchange, and the author of a dozen books. read more

Rick Harsch

Rick Harsch is the author of several novels, one of which is taught at the University of Tasmania in a course on American film and... read more

Caitlin Horrocks

Caitlin Horrocks is author of the novel The Vexationsand the story collections Life Among the Terranauts(forthcoming 2021) and This Is Not... read more

Susan Perabo

Susan Perabo is writer-in-residence and an associate professor English at Dickinson College. She is the author of Who I Was Supposed to Be... read more

George Plimpton

George Plimpton (1927-2003) was the long-time editor of The Paris Review and the author of several books about competing in professional... read more

Katherine A. Powers

Katherine A. Powers was born in Minnesota and lives in Massachusetts. She writes a literary column for the Boston Sunday Globe. read more

J.D. Scrimgeour

J.D. Scrimgeour's book Themes for English B: A Professor's Education In and Out of Class won the AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2005... read more

Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro is the author of five nonfiction books, most recently The Last Good Season. His work appears in such publications as The... read more

John Thorn

John Thorn wrote his first book thirty-three years ago and has since produced dozens more. His next book, Baseball in the Garden of Eden,... read more

Sean Wilentz

Sean Wilentz is the author of several books, including The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, which won the Bancroft Prize... read more

Matt Wood

Matt Wood is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Creative Writing program at Northwestern University, where his final thesis, "Through an... read more

Jake Young

Jake Young is from Los Angeles, California, and has studied writing at Princeton and Arizona State Universities. He is currently at work on... read more



Publishers Weekly

March 31, 2008

The love connection shows clearly in these sweet, sometimes sentimental essays, penned by more than enough authors to field a team.... read more

Rounding the Bases of the Grand Game

Boston Globe

June 23, 2008

"Anatomy of Baseball" doesn't do this collection justice. Too clinical, too antiseptic. "Baseball: Love Letters... read more

Review: Anatomy of Baseball

Scott Peterson

Spring 2009

As contributor Stefan Fatsis puts it, this anthology is “about the gorgeous minutiae of baseball” (15), and as any fan of the game will... read more

"A flat-out good time"

Was Watching

May 29, 2008

If you’re a baseball fan, you will enjoy “Anatomy Of Baseball.” The essays – from all the authors (be they well... read more

Baseball Legends, and a Beloved Song

New York Times, Reading New York

May 11, 2008

There’s nothing clinical about “Anatomy of Baseball.” Edited by Lee Gutkind, founding editor of the journal Creative... read more

Baseball's new literary companion

May 5, 2008

When Lee Gutkind wrote a book about Major League umpires in the 1970s, he threw a curveball of controversy into the game and saw how... read more


At the Park Kevin Baker

The first major-league parks, back in the... read more

First Base of Last Resort Matt Wood

First base is a position for aging veterans... read more

The Bat Philip F. Deaver

Father Casey, wearing black pants and a white... read more

Pesapallo: Playing at the Edge of the World Caitlin Horrocks

We’re leading by one, but with two outs,... read more