Book Review: A Baseball Life Four Decades Inside the Game by Ronald Modra


A Baseball Book That Will Inspire You

I have many baseball photo books in my house. Some of them I have looked at here on the blog, and others will be posted about in the future. A week or so ago I posted a link to some amazing images on my Pinola Photography Facebook page. The photos were all created by Ron Modra over the last forty years. You can see the article I posted here. When I got home from shooting track Saturday a package was at my door with a small misspelling of my business name. When I opened the package inside was the book A Baseball Life: Four Decades Inside the Game by Ron Modra. When I found the book we had company, but I could not help myself to thumb through the pages. Over the last couple of days I have not been able to put the book down. In my spare time I keep going to it to give it another look. Ron really had a way of capturing baseball that was amazing. If you love baseball this is a great book. If you love to photograph baseball then this is a must have in your collection.

Photo credit Ron Modra
Photo credit Ron Modra


Why Is This Book Different?

I kept wondering why I have been unable to put this book down. I have reviewed a couple of fantastic baseball books on this blog already. Two that stand out are Ballet in the Dirt by Neil Leifer, and Baseball’s Golden Age by Charles Conlin. Both of these books show the game in a unique way that I love. I think what sets Ronald’s work apart from the other two great photographers for me is the era in which he shot. He started shooting a couple of years before I was born. The players that are featured in the book are the ones that I grew up watching for the most part. They bring back the feelings that I had as a child looking at some of these photos on baseball cards. It was those pictures that shaped my thoughts on what a baseball photo should be. Some of that has been tweaked over the years, but for the most part looking at thousands upon thousands of baseball images on cards as a kid had an effect on me. The photo above is just one of many in the book that are striking. When you find out that it was taken during spring training you realize just how intense Pete Rose played the game. A good photo tells a story, and there are plenty of stories in this book. I may be beating this into the ground, but if you are a sports enthusiast or photographer this book is for you.



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