Baseball bibliophiles who have been following new releases are most likely familiar with Dan Epstein's Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s. The pop-culture historian recaps each season with an eye for the decade's flair. Did you know there was another title released this summer that approached the era from a different angle? In When the Game Changed: An Oral History of Baseball's True Golden Age: 1969-1979, veteran sports writer George Castle taps players, coaches, and others to share their first-hand views of the pivotal period in the game's history.
Both books have their strengths. When the Game Changed explores each of the topics presented in some depth. Big Hair and Plastic Grass takes a broader view, covering more events but in many cases flying through them fairly quickly. Combine the two and you'll get a real flavor for an often-overlooked but eventful decade. My review of both books is now available on BaseballAmerica.com.