Billy Martin, baseball's brawling legend

April 18, 2015 6:02 PM

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The eternal return of baseball season invites a special nostalgia for a time when the game's greats didn't seem like the hothouse athletes of today so much as a national register of regular guys. Tall, short, skinny, fat: Baseball legends came in every shape, like the rest of us, yet managed to awe us with their unlikely mastery of a sport that has more facets than a well-cut gem.

In most cases, they were rough diamonds — on the diamond — and few came rougher than Billy Martin, as chronicled in Bill Pennington's peerless new biography, Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius (***½ out of four).

Also read: College football: Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Penn State win conference titles

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