Picks and Pans Review: Baseball in America
A variation on the Day in the Life of series, this collection of photographs taken in 1990 is the photographic equivalent of a .265 hitter—useful, steady, unembarrassing but nothing to go all superlative over.
Too many pictures (shot by 50 photographers) are routine or a split-second off. Typical is a Little League World Series scene at first base—a pickoff try, apparently—shown with the runner being called safe. It's not clear if the first baseman's eyes are closed due to disgust, despair or mere bad timing of the photographer.
Then there's the poignant moment when Ken Griffey Sr. and his son Ken Jr., the first father and son to play on the same major league team, embraced on the field. The picture is underexposed and hardly worth including.
There's not enough anguish nor elation and so little drama the book seems to be the work of a football fan.
The book is best in its mood-setting shots, such as one of a minor league game in Salt Lake City, where the backdrop of a picturesque sunset and the promising glow of the Derks Field lights suggest the anticipation and pleasure a ball game can represent. (Collins, $45)