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The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated

An Irreverent Look at the Rules of Baseball and How They Came to Be What They Are Today

Published by Sports Publishing
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Completely updated and expanded through the 2019 baseball season!

In a game that has been our national pastime since the 1850s, there have been countless changes, additions and adaptations to the rules of baseball. But while the sport has altered considerably in recent years, its essence is still deeply rooted in its early history.

Completely revised and updated through the 2019 baseball season, David Nemec has brought back into print his renowned book The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated. Along with providing a thorough investigation into the rules of the game and how they came to be, Nemec explains the reasoning behind many of the modifications, both large and small, and in so doing furnishes numerous examples of the specific instances that led to a particular rule being created afresh, rewritten or excised from the rule book entirely.

Whether we’re talking about the uproarious “Pine Tar Game,” harrowing home plate collisions, or the constant fine tuning through the years to maintain an equilibrium between hitting and pitching, fans of all ages are given a comprehensive handbook of the pivotal incidents that shaped the game as we know it today.  But The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated is much more than a textbook on the rules.  It is rich with illustrative anecdotes throughout the game’s long history that feature many of baseball’s most famous players, umpires and teams as well as some of its most unsung.

With photographs that help bring to life some of the movers and shakers in the ways the game has evolved over time, all fans of the sport will welcome adding this book to their libraries. As The Glory of Their Times author Lawrence S. Ritter said, “This is one of the most entertaining baseball books I have read in a very long time.  Any baseball fan, young or old, will find it fun...”

About The Author

David Nemec is the author of The Great Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Major League Baseball, The Beer and Whisky League, 20th Century Baseball Chronicles, Early Dreams, Major League Baseball Profiles: 1871-1900 and many other works on baseball. Nemec has won numerous SABR national baseball trivia contests. He currently lives in Laguna Woods, California.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Sports Publishing (April 14, 2020)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781683583240

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Raves and Reviews

Praise for David Nemec's The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated

“David Nemec is baseball's greatest storyteller, one who takes—and shares—a special delight in the little known tale. The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated describes the game we love, as it is played today and how it came to be that way. An indispensable book.” —John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball

"I cannot remember a more satisfying and well written book than David Nemec's The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated. It's a book you can refer to time and again—must reading for all, including the players." —Phil Rizzuto, Hall of Fame baseball player

"This is one of the most entertaining baseball books I have read in a very long time. Any baseball fan, young or old, will find it fun to read." —Lawrence S. Ritter, author of The Glory of Their Times

"Nemec is a good storyteller, and he exhumes some fascinating ghosts, showing how players long dead or retired have shaped the game." —The Boston Globe

"Many of baseball's bylaws didn't get drawn up until some weird episode occurred, and Nemec recalls the most unusual in this humorous study of the major-league rulebook."  —USA Today Baseball Weekly

"Just when you thought you'd read every possible variation on a theme of baseball there is, along comes a book...that has something worthwhile to say. Nemec's book is spilling over with history." —San Francisco Examiner

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