A respected baseball writer Twittered that he learned a lot from this book. I think he was being more than somewhat generous, because I myself am a rather casual fan and I knew most of the things in his book by the time I was in sixth grade – and so did every other boy in the class. (This was the dark ages, when girls weren’t expected to know important stuff like batting averages until their late teens.)

OK: I did get two two things wrong. If a ball deflects off the pitching rubber and goes into the dugout, it’s a foul ball. I’ve never seen it happen, I'm not sure it could happen, but OK, when I took the 12-question foul-ball quiz, this one got me. And, yes, I’ve believed since sixth grade that errors did not count as a time at bat and this turns out not to be the case. Someone sixth grader misinformed me. Don’t think I don’t remember who.

The book’s subtitle, “a professional fan’s guide for beginners, semi-experts, and deeply serious geeks” is wrong. This is what we, in sixth grade, would have called “a book for girls” — that is, a book for people who don’t really know much about baseball but might like to watch it. For that, it’s a fine book. (We will not mention at this point that the evening guy on WEEI dropped the ball on a question about the infield fly rule the other night.) I wouldn’t mind having the soccer version of this book, or the cricket edition. I once watched a Rugby final in Sydney, and it sure would have helped to have a pleasant and amiable read like this.

It’s a shame, though, because there’s a ton of interesting stuff about baseball that I’d like to know. Here are a few: