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"Pride of October" - Bill Madden's Gem

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

The formula was simple. Find and interview 17 ex-Yankees and one Yankee wife and mine their memories of what it was like to be young and a Yankee. That was the task (joy) veteran sports writer Bill Madden set for himself for his book "Pride of October" (Warner, $24.95, 398 pages).

His collection of interviewees includes: Phil Rizzuto, Marius Russo, Tommy Byrne, Yogi Berra, Charlie Silvera, Jerry Coleman, Whitey Ford, Arlene Howard, Ralph Houk, Mel Stottlemyre, Bobby Richardson, Joe Pepitone, Ron Blomberg, Bobby Murcer, Lou Piniella, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly and Paul O'Neill. An imposing, talkative and interesting list.

The result is a broad brushed canvas of stories and perceptions about what it like to be young and playing ball for the greatest franchise in sports history - the New York Yankees. Madden, a "New York Daily News" columnist, has covered the Yankees for more than a quarter century. That experience shines through in this book - one of his best efforts ever.

"Tales From the Phillies Dugout" by Rich Wescott (Sports Publishing, $19.95, 205 pages) is as its sub-title claims: "A Collection of the Greatest Philadelphia Phillies Stories Ever Told."  Wescott has more than 40 years experience as baseball writer and was publisher and editor of "Phillies Report." He brings that background to bear on the pages of this slim but interesting book.

Over-sized, lavishly illustrated with over 200 photographs, "Baseball's Book of Firsts" by Lloyd Johnson (Running Press Publishers, $19.98, 176 pages) is perfect for reference, for browsing, for learning a good deal more about baseball history. "Firsts" include the first batter to hit .400, the first hot dogs, seventh inning stretch, first ballpark with synthetic turf, first Ladies Day, the first player and catcher to wear shin guards. And there is more, much more told clearly and concisely by Johnson, the former president and executive director of the Society for American Baseball Research.   

From Northeastern University Press comes two highly readable baseball books - "Ted Williams" edited by Lawrence Baldassaro ($20.00, 250 pages)
And "The First World Series and the Baseball Fanatics of 1903" by Roger L. Abrams ($26.95, 196 pages). The former is a collection of writings about Ted Williams and some nifty photographs of the "Splendid Splinter."  The latter has its focus the first World Series played between the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Games were played at the Huntington Avenue Grounds in Boston - "the Athens of America" and at Pittsburgh Exposition Park.

"When Boston Won the World Series" by Bob Ryan (Running Press, $18.95, 192 pages) is a wonderful complement to "The First World Series and the Baseball Fanatics of 1903."  Ryan's effort, beautifully packaged and nicely illustrated is like a time machine taking us back to one of the finest moments in Beantown sports history.

Speaking of Beantown - "Best Bet in Beantown" by G.S. Rowe (Pocol Press, paper, $17.95) is a bit of a pricey product. It is set in 1897 in Boston. It is a mystery by an author who teaches a class on the history of baseball at the University of Northern Colorado.

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You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

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.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
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Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .
 

Other Frommer sports related articles can be found at:   

Harvey 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. 

This Article is Copyright 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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