Review of “Team Chemistry”

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)

Baseball, professional,

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

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