Books: Looking It Up

THE BASEBALL ENCYCLOPEDIA

Macmillan; 2,142 pages; $25

Ice on the ground, snow in the forecast. Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium closed for the season. Faced with such spiritual deprivation, Cato fell on his sword and Ishmael shipped out to sea. Baseball buffs have a better way of alleviating off-season angst. Like fundamentalists who find solace in Scripture, they take down their own holy writ entitled The Baseball Encyclopedia. Impervious to time and temperature, the good book returns readers to baseball's Jurassic era, when teams were owned by individuals rather than conglomerates, when...

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