Books: Bat Men of Yesteryear

IF I NEVER GET BACK by Darryl Brock; Crown; 424 pages; $18.95

Baseball these days, as all agree, is the national pursetime: overpaid and oversold, merchandising brief bursts of tedium between flurries of beer commercials. Ah, but when the world was young, thinks the old child, the former boy, it was all wonderful. I remember . . .

And so we have another misty, nostalgic baseball book to wedge onto a crowded and highly literary shelf. Didn't any skinny kids with library cards go bowling, years ago? But never mind. This genial and shaggily told first novel is not only one...

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