A pennant race remembered; The Unforgettable Season, by G. H. Fleming. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
G. H. Fleming is a professor of English literature, as well as a baseball aficionado and history buff. He has combined all three interests in a book that skillfully reconstructs an unusually dramatic pennant race while capturing the flavor of turn-of-the-century America and preserving the vintage prose of early sportswriters.
The "unforgettable season" is that of 1908, when public interest in the presidential election was largely overshadowed by baseball. Ultimately the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs won the right to do battle in a close World Series contest whose outcome hinged upon a single controversial play.
Fleming culled through papers and magazines of the time to tell the story entirely by means of excerpts. These flamboyant accounts cast sidelights on the era. They also provide a charming glimpse of baseball's growing-up years, when spectators craned their necks to see past ladies' bonnets, and pundits decried the use of baseball gloves as an innovation that gave fielders an unfair edge on batters.