"Moneyball " and Other
Worthy Baseball Books
Frommer on Sports
Michael Lewis wrote the best seller "Liar's Poker," an entertaining and
insightful work and has now followed up that effort with another that
should be of interest to all baseball fans. Not that everyone will agree
with what Lewis has to say, but he does say it well in "Moneyball"
(Norton, $24.95, 288 pages).
Media hype and other reviewers have focused on the book's featuring of
Billy Billy Bean and the Oakland Athletics. That focus has been well
placed considering the innovative and winning methods of the Oakland
But "Moneyball" is much more than a paean to Bean/Oakland. It is a whole
new way at looking at the national pastime, its teams, players, even
Lewis maintains that walks, bases on balls, have never fully gotten
their due in the analysis of box scores of player performance. He also
comes up with many other interesting observations
*In pro baseball, it still matters less how much money you have than how
you spend it. (Case in point - the New York Yankees payroll as of this
writing is double that of the St. Louis Cardinals).
* Base stealing is respected ,but sometimes it is not as valuable as it
is cracked up to be.
* The belief that a baseball team starts with the manager first, is
Charming, insightful, "Moneyball" is a book that truly belongs in a
special place on your baseball bookshelf. A small complaint - - it could
have really benefited much from the inclusion of an
in depth index.
"The Long Ball" by Tom Adelman (Little Brown, $24.95, 372 pages) is
about the summer of 1975, magical moments in baseball and in the culture
of 70s America. Adelman takes us through that season into the World
Series between the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds. The heart of the
book is that Fall Classic. If you lived through that time, this book
will appeal to you. If you weren't around, "The Long Ball" will fill you
From John Hopkins Press comes "Ichiro, Satchel and the Babe" by Mike
Attiyeh (336 pages, paper). If baseball trivia is your thing - than this
tome is for you. It is a mother lode of arcane, unusual, interesting fun
This is the year for all sorts of books focused on the New York Yankees
- and why not - a franchise's 100th anniversary gets publishers and
authors into it. "The Proudest Yankees of All" by David Hickey and Kerry
Keene (Taylor, $25.00, 320 pages) profiles 39 players, execs and
managers with Yankee roots who have been enshrined in the big house in
Cooperstown. The usual suspects are here - Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio,
Stengel, Mantle, Jackson, etc. The usual data is also presented. Though
the writing could have been improved with more editing - Hickey and
Keene have done yeoman research.
For all those Bucco fans out there - this is the book for you -"The
Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia" by David Finoli and Bill Ranier (Sports
Publishing, L.L.C., $39.95, 626 pages). Stats, stories, seasons of glory
and defeat - a stocking stuffer of super stuff.
** Harvey Frommer is the author of 33 sports books, including "The New
York Yankee Encyclopedia, "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," and
"Growing Up Baseball" with Frederic J. Frommer.
His "A Yankee Century: A Celebration of the First Hundred Years of
Baseball's Greatest Team" (Berkley Putnam) will be published in
paperback in October.
# # #
More thrilling than the most exciting pennant chase, packed with more
power than a Barry Bonds home run smash, as timely as today's headlines
- "The Main Enemy" by Milt Bearden (Random House, $27.95, 576 pages)
who led America to triumph in the secret war against the Soviets -
tells the heart-pounding inside story of the CIA-KGB spy wars. What is
especially unusual about "The Main Enemy" is that is is based on
hundreds of interviews with operatives from both sides of the street.
For sizzling summer reading, rush out now and get this page turner.
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
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Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth
College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage
in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
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