Baseball's honor rolls are filled with legendary deeds of batting prowess. Throughout history, crowds have risen in unison from their seats to loudly cheer the majestic trajectory of a white sphere "crushed" by the likes of Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Barry Bonds.
But, what about players like Bill Bergen, who hit an abysmal .170 in eleven seasons. Or Cramer Beard, one of the greatest minor league hitters of all time, but just a .198 hitter in the majors. How about Marty Castillo? He of a .190 batting average and nine big league home runs; however, one of those homers helped win a game in the 1984 World Series.
These men also have surprising stories. Virginia-based baseball author Al Pepper reveals theirs and 47 other's unique, offbeat, and unusual tales in Mendoza's Heroes: Fifty Batters Below .200.
You may be familiar with Brian Doyle, Herman Franks, Choo Choo Coleman, and Bob Uecker. Others, forgotten in the mists of time, are brought back to life. Using eye-opening statistics, interviews with players, and anecdotal biographies, Pepper's Mendoza's Heroes serves as a rollicking tour through baseball history -- from baseball's ancient and chaotic nineteenth century through today.
This report prepared by Al Peppper