The Head Game by Roger Kahn

May 23, 2017

Psychologically abusing and physically incomparable to any other sport. Baseball is proven to be the most demanding and challenging sports there is known to mankind. After reading The Head Game by Roger Kahn, my reverence for the game has only become more and more relevant, whether that’s through watching TV or playing baseball for my high school. From the basic rules and history of the game to hitting a major league fastball, The Head Game gives the reader a comprehensive explanation of everything about the great game of baseball.


The history of baseball is unlike any other sport. Every rule was set in stone since the first pitch of the first game. From the configuration of the field to the approximate depth of the fence, everything's tested repeatedly until flawless. One quote from Red Smith describes the beauty of ninety feet, “Ninety feet, is what makes the game work. How many times do you see a runner beat out by a half step? How seldom does a man beat out an infield hit? Almost every ground ball is an ‘out,’ just as it should be. Ninety feet between home plate and first base; one of the few examples of perfection on earth.” Although a number might seem irrelevant to something as perfection, but it truly is something that will always be present in the game.

Another astonishment in baseball is the capability to hit a major league fastball. Consider the fact that the average speed of a major league fastball is 90 miles an hour, with approximately 20 revolutions per second and travels the distance from the rubber sixty feet six inches in ? of a second to the plate. Snap your fingers and that’s the amount of time you get to decide to swing or not. Although hitting a fastball at such speeds is achievable if you have four qualities; good eyesight, concentration, experience and reflexes. The average hitter needs about fifty milliseconds to instinctively assess the speed and location of an incoming pitch. Seven milliseconds early or seven milliseconds late is a strike.

It are things like this that make the game so exciting and challenging, and Roger Kahn does an unbelievable job giving explanations of it. I recommend this book to anyone who plays the game so you can get the inside info on everything baseball and for those that are seeking a well done book.

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