Review: “Closer” by Kevin Neary

Closer+Kevein +Neary+Book+MLB+Brad+LidgeIn baseball, the closer position is still the newest position in baseball. The term didn’t come into the baseball lexicon until the 1970s.

In today’s game, having a good closer has been part of the equation for success. Even though a closer’s role has changed greatly since its inception. Today’s closer only pitch one inning at most. Closers like Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage (both in the Baseball Hall of Fame) often pitched multiple innings.

Closer by Kevin Neary and Leigh A. Tobin chronicles the careers of various closers over the years. They break down closer in three different eras (“The Early Years”, The Transition Years” & “The Modern Day Closer”).

We review Closer and let you know why this book is a must-have for every baseball historian.

I’ve been interested in closers since I was quite young. I was raised a Chicago Cubs fan, so I instantly grew fond of Lee Smith, Goose Gossage, Mitch Williams and Randy Myers. When I saw any one of those closer enter a game, I knew the Cubs would most likely win. I believe that is why people love a good closer. You get a good feeling in your stomach. It’s like a Pavlov’s dog-like experiment for a baseball fan.

Closer is a great book that shows the evolution of the closer’s role over the years. Neary cherry-picks various closers who are key to each era he covers. No matter if your a 70-year old baseball fan or a young teenager just now learning the history of baseball, this book is a great read.

Brad Lidge, a World Series winning closer, writes a foreword for the book. He explains what kind of feeling he had while pitching to the last better in the 2008 World Series. The first-hand account is riveting.

If you buy Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America’s books ever season, you will love this book. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re a casual fan, you will recognize many of the names in this book. It’s entertaining no matter what level of fan you are.

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