Here is my review of “Team Chemistry.”
Whether the use of the
substances was for medical purposes, such as those used by Sandy Koufax, or for
recreational use, such as the drinking of Mickey Mantle or the cocaine use by
players in the 1980s like Tim Raines, Corzine writes of a long history of the
use of many substances. The economics of the use of substances is also explored
as fund from tobacco and alcohol advertising was a major source of revenue for
the clubs in the first half of the twentieth century.
. This book by Nathan Michael
Corzine makes the case that PEDs are simply the latest in a long list of uses
and abuses of drugs, alcohol and tobacco products by baseball players.
Looking for something a little different than the usual biographies and baseball history books, I decided to try this one when I saw it offered on NetGalley. The book makes it easy to try to judge each
player described, the closest to a negative aspect in it. However, that doesn’t take anything away from
the overall quality of the writing or the factual reporting. Any reader who is interested the history of
baseball should read this one.
Much like how the sport has evolved through the years on the field, Corzine
writes about the uses of the various substances as an evolution as well. From the alcohol and tobacco to marijuana and
cocaine to PEDs, each era is chronicled for not only the use by players, but
what was done by the game’s commissioners and owners to address the uses. While there is a lot of history dialogue, it certainly is a different take on a different baseball subject. That
ranges from doing nothing to damage control due to bad publicity to proposing
random testing. Each topic is described
in great detail and through excellent research and writing, the reader will
learn much about the history of substance use in the game.
4 ½ of 5 stars (Excellent)
drugs, history, performance enhancing drugs
“Team Chemistry: The
History of Drugs and Alcohol in Major League Baseball” by Nathan Michael
I wish to thank University of Illinois Press for providing a copy of the book via
NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
While the use of
performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) has been a source of controversy in Major
League Baseball for nearly two decades, this issue is not the first time that
the sport has been engulfed in issues with drugs.
Readers may be tempted
to try to judge whether one era of substance use was worse than another, like I
did, and that would be a mistake