Lou Boudreau: Covering All the Bases is the personal history of one the most extraordinary men in baseball history. While leading the Cleveland Indians to a World Series victory in 1948, he invented the "Ted Williams shift", and became the only player/manager ever to win the American League MVP award. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (2)
Schneider Drops An Easy Pop Fly
To lead off, the author of the book was long-time Cleveland, OH, print media sports reporter/columnist Russell Schneider. When Schneider retired from his post at The Plain Dealer - still a major daily at the time - he wrote a weekly column for a minor weekly newspaper chain and turned his attention to a variety of book projects, including Covering All The Bases.
Boudreau was a legend in Cleveland as an all-star shortstop and player/manager - taking the helm at age 24. The 1948 team - one of the greatest in MLB history - went from world champions to the big screen, starring in a typical sports film at the time, The Kid From Cleveland.
The Hall-of-Famer was also known by millions of Cubs fans for his nearly three decades of work on radio broadcasts on WGN. Boudreau also had a brief stint playing pro basketball in the National Basketball League, the forerunner to the National Basketball Association.
With nearly a lifetime of professional baseball to reflect upon, it is surprising that Schneider focuses so much on Boudreau's statistics rather than drawing out anecdotes to highlight the achievements. Schneider does a good job having Boudreau comment on his controversial loss of collegiate eligibility at the University of Illinois for signing a letter of intent to play for Cleveland upon graduating, but there are really no journalistic high points afterwards.
A series of book signings in northeast Ohio were greatly scaled back due to Boudreau's worsening health problems. Though even more than a decade after the publication, there are still new autographed books available for readers who like to comb through bookstores in northeast Ohio.
For baseball fans who enjoy statistics over ruminations, Covering All The Bases is a hit. But Schneider could have done so much more to make Boudreau's career come to life.
A demi-god tells less than all
Few baseball players have had larger numbers of more devoted fans than Lou Boudreau, the great shortstop who played mainly for the Cleveland Indians from the late 1930s through early 1950s. If he had run for President, all of Cleveland would have voted for him. I may be his biggest fan still living. However, this autobiography, writtenwith help from a ghost writer whose prose is no more than serviceable, leaves much to be desired. Boudreau is well aware of his icon status, and seems determined not to spoil it. We come away from this book knowing a lot of dates and statistics about his career as a player and manager, but not knowing enough about the man behind the facade. There are occasional flashes of drama, as when he discusses his dreadful relationship with his stepfather, who tried to ruin his athletic career by accusing him of violating his amateur status while at college. But by and large this is a disappointment. There was more excitement in a single Boudreau backhand stabon the edge of the infield, than in this entire book
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