I am a Pirates fan. There I said it and I am not ashamed to admit it despite the fact that my team is currently in its sixteenth losing season. Although I have not always followed my team closely (it is a little hard to stay motivated after fifteen sub-par seasons), I will always root for them. Thus, it was great to read about a time when the Pirates beat the vaunted Yankees in the 1960 World Series. Jim Reisler’s The Best Game Ever chronicles Game 7 of that Series. It is a quick read at 264 pages.
Reisler provides an inning-by-inning account of the game with many stories sprinkled in the dialogue about the game. Because I never saw or heard the game, it is interesting to read about the events and the players. The stories are funny and entertaining.
Reisler’s account is not objective in that it mainly takes the perspective of the Pirates, their fans, and the city of Pittsburgh. He sprinkles in a few stories about the Yankees â€“ I particularly like how he equates the Kansas City Athletics as the farm team for the Yankees. Growing up in the Pittsburgh area, I can appreciate reading many of the stories about the team, its players, and the city. For instance, it is interesting to read about the construction and location of Forbes Field â€“ where the Pirates played until the early part of the 1970 season.
Because I am not a huge baseball fan, I am not as familiar with the players or the statistics of the game. With that said, I did not notice some of the errors that Reisler made with regard to the players and their statistics as many other reviewers have pointed out. In my humble opinion, these errors do not take away from the story or the dramatics of Bill Mazeroski’s performance in the bottom of the Ninth Inning.
If you are a Pirates fan or a Yankee hater, this book is worth a read (Yankees fans may not want to read their team’s missed opportunities to win the game and the series).