Johnny Evers : A Baseball Life by Dennis Snelling

Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.” – Franklin P. Adams

Dennis Snelling’s book, Johnny Evers: A Baseball Life, is an enjoyable, very readable biography of Evers, one of the best second basemen in baseball’s history. He wrote the book on how second base should be played developing the ‘snap throw’ and the ‘one-handed sweep’ when tagging a runner.

The book paints a complete picture of this player who was consumed by baseball and winning. Normally quiet, he had a temper on the field and being ejected from a game was not an unknown experience. Evers also had an ability to understand exactly where the ball would go if the pitcher threw what he was supposed to, and he would direct the fielders to move accordingly. Evers faced a lot of difficulties off the field, as well as on, but he fought to overcome them all with the same determination that he gave to baseball.

The book debunks a lot of myths and rumors about Evers and is well documented with eighteen pages of notes, in case you want to check a fact. The ending is a wonderful description of Evers: “Always young, always fighting, often exasperating, but always entertaining. Always seeking an edge to win a game and giving the last ounce of everything he had for the game he loved. Which is as it should be.” I would think this book would be a must for every lover of baseball.

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