Litstack Rec: My Misspent Youth & Down to the Last Pitch

Down to the Last Pitch –lit rec
How the Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves
Gave Us the Best World Series of All Time
by Tim Wendel

Okay, so I’m biased. I admit it. As a hardcore fan of the Minnesota Twins, through the thick and the thin, I firmly believe that the 1991 World Series was the best ever.
After all, both teams had gone from the basement to the Big Show; last place in their respective divisions in 1990, going head to head for the title of World Champion in 1991. The Series went the full seven games, with four of the games decided by “walk offs” – won on the last pitch in the game. Three games went into extra innings, including the dramatic final game which was won in 11 innings, with a score of 0 – 1. There were home runs, base running blunders, amazing decoy plays, dramatic catches, homer hankies, tomahawk chops, a thunderdome and perhaps the craziest play at first base of all time.

But even someone who enjoys baseball without being a rabid fan of either Minnesota or Atlanta will enjoy Tim Wendel’s book. While he does cover the 1991 Series game by game, he goes off on many tangents throughout his narrative, covering not just current players and the season that had just wrapped up, but going deep into history, reminiscences, clubhouse stories and glimpses behind the scenes (I actually found this a bit distracting, but then, I mainly wanted to read about my Twins!).

Tim Wendel is currently the writer in residence at Johns Hopkins University, and has penned numerous fictional and non-fiction books on sports, often baseball. He’s also been a sports reporter and journalist for the New York Times, Washington Post, American Scholar, National Geographic Traveler, USA Weekend, Washingtonian, GQ and Esquire, so he knows his stuff. If you’re a baseball fan – even if you’re a fan of a team other than the Minnesota Twins or the Atlanta Braves – this would be a fine summer read for you.

—Sharon Browning

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