Let me begin by noting two things:
1) I am a huge baseball fan. I will watch any game. When the rest of your life is going to pieces (as seems to be the case these days, baseball always is there to offer some welcome distraction. I like reading about the history and people involved in the sport. Yes, it is one of my favorite things.
2) One of the best books I read this year is Contested Will, James Shapiro's exploration not of who "really" wrote Shakespeare's plays, but how history and myth become entangled and entrenched until one is indistinguishable from another, and why people want to believe one thing or another, whether it is true or not.
Baseball in the Garden of Eden, by John Thorn, deals with both of these subjects--baseball, as the title says, and the layers of legends, stories, and lies that have built up around the cloudy subject of when, where, and how the game began. Sounds like, well, a home run for me, doesn't it?
Not quite--I found the book staggeringly dull. It was the opposite of a page turner. It was a keep staring at the page hoping something will catch your attentioner.
Thorn is a well-respected writer, so maybe it's just me. Maybe something just didn't click. I made it through about fifty pages, then decided that life was too short and there were too many other books I'd rather be reading.