THE ART OF BASEBALL

"Baseball: A Treasury of Art and Literature" (Hugh Lauter Levin Assoc., 376 pp., $75) has a big-league price tag, but it's a big-league treasury of art and writing.

Editor Michael Ruscoe's search went beyond familiar images to unanticipated visual delights, including an early 1900s baseball watch; a quilt depicting the game's history; and a hand fan that looks like part of Yankee Stadium.

The sports-writing giants are here - Red Smith, Roger Angell, George F. Will, others. There are also whimsical offerings: Shakespeare's collected baseball wisdom ("Fair is foul and foul is fair," from "Macbeth"); the complete lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"; and Yogi Berra on what he meant by such utterances as "Baseball is 90 percent mental; the other half is physical."

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