Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Review: Playing Ball with Legends: The Story and Stories of Don Lund

Playing Ball With LegendsPlaying Ball with Legends: The Story and the Stories of Don Lund
James Robert Irwin
Saint James Books, 2009
456 pages

When one thinks of Don Lund, what image comes to mind? Is it the first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears? Perhaps one envisions the strapping outfielder for the Dodgers, Browns and Tigers. How about the head coach of the NCAA World Series Champion Michigan Wolverines? Baseball insiders might suggest it is the farm director of the Detroit Tigers.

James Robert Irwin would argue that it may be none of these, but the outstanding character of Lund, which is a constant theme throughout the book. Lund receives glowing praise from former teammates, players, coaches and executives.

While Irwin's work gives fine detail about Lund's playing career, it is the stories in between the lines about the lives he touched along the way and the journey he took to get there that makes the book worth reading.

It is evident that while writing this book that Irwin became great friends with Lund, at times the book reads as if it were not written by a biographer but a true friend with the utmost respect and admiration for the person whose life they're chronicling.

At over 450 pages, "Playing Ball with Legends" will keep you occupied for quite awhile as you read about Lund's 60-year involvement with athletics from the sandlots of Detroit, through the legendary grounds of Ebbets Field, to his retirement from his position as Associate Athletic Director at the University of Michigan.


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