The Perfect Season: Why 1998 Was Baseball’s Greatest Year
Nineteen Ninety-Eight was the greatest season in baseball history. While Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa engaged in an epic duel for baseball’s most coveted individual record — Roger Maris’s 61 home runs, the New York Yankees set new standards for team excellence and established themselves as one of the greatest clubs in the history of the game.
Tim McCarver broadcast the climax of each of these extraordinary achievements and is uniquely positioned as a former player, a commentator, and writer to put 1998 into its proper perspective. McCarver is baseball’s best analyst and, as he showed with Tim McCarver’s Baseball for Brain Surgeons and Other Fans, he is as eloquent and witty on the page as he is behind the microphone. In The Perfect Season, McCarver revels in the homer race and the Yankees but shows that the season contained so much more, ensuring it will stand out as the best there has been. Star players performing to the height of their powers broke records set by true legends of baseball, linking today’s players with those who exist somewhere between myth and memory: Ruth and Cobb; Gehrig and Mays.
The Perfect Season describes the accomplishments of veterans like Juan Gonzalez, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey, Jr., Mike Piazza, and Barry Bonds, and of the exceptional young players who hold the future of the game in their hands: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, and Kerry Wood. Tim McCarver also laments the passing of some friends and colleagues: Richie Ashburn, Harry Caray, and Dan Quisenberry, and celebrates the careers of some stars who retired after the 1998 season.
The Perfect Season is a comprehensive account of 1998 and the perfect souvenir of baseball’s greatest year. With it, fans can remember the season in which they got back into the habit of watching the game and reestablished baseball as America’s Pastime.