101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out

101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out by Josh Pahigian. After a wonderful trip to the International Tennis Hall of Fame this past summer, I am now preparing for a baseball-themed vacation next year. Consequently, New England-based writer Josh Pahigian’s book on baseball destinations jumped out at me from the shelf. The 101 places are presented in their rank order (though no mention is made of the criteria for inclusion or placement on the list) from top to bottom with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown as the premier spot. The author attempts to “capture the spirit of each location” through short essays about each of the museums, ballparks, restaurants and other sites related to the sport’s history and its role in popular culture.

For the most part Pahigian succeeds in his goal. Of the seven places I’ve already visited, I learned something new from his descriptions and I was certainly intrigued by the places I have not yet been or had never considered. I appreciated the details Pahigian included in each entry such as when major events take place during the year, future plans for renovations or expansions, admission charges for the museums and other attractions, and menu recommendations for most, though not all, of the restaurants.

Although the author attempts to choose locations from around the country and even includes Hawaii, Alaska and Canadian sites on the list, several cities and areas dominate the selections with at least three entries each including Cooperstown, Maryland, and the metropolitan areas of St. Louis, San Francisco, and New York. A two-page map or at least a geographic index would have been a positive addition. Most of the entries included a single photograph, but several did not and visually the book was unremarkable. Overall, this volume has inspired me to continue with my plans for next summer’s trip and given me many new ideas and destinations to explore.

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