Blevins (Halls of Fame: An International Directory) provides short biographies of those inducted into baseball’s, basketball’s, football’s, hockey’s, and soccer’s halls of fame from the mid-1930s to 2010. The entries are prefaced by a list of abbreviations of various leagues, professional associations, and federations, and alphabetized by last name or, in some cases, by team. Each entry covers basic facts, including birth and death dates, teams that the athlete played for, accolades, and sometimes career statistics. The listings also indicate the national and any additional halls of fame into which the athlete was inducted and provide a short bibliography. Appendixes in the second volume include complete inductee listings from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum, organized both alphabetically and by year. The set is comprehensively indexed. VERDICT Overall, this encyclopedia will be useful in libraries that serve patrons with a special interest in sports or that are located in a city with a sports team. It will also come in handy when students or others are looking to profile an athlete but lack a clear vision or starting point for their research. While not a comprehensive study of each athlete or team, the encyclopedia is a great statistical and factual reference offering basic information that can kick-start further study.
Dave Blevins is a full-time writer and author of several reference books, including Halls of Fame: An International Directory (2004), Television Networks (2006) and American Political Parties in the 21st Century (2006).