Setting the Record
Frommer on Sports
During the last 16 years of Joe DiMaggio's life, he was in very close
contact with his lawyer, confidante, advisor Morris Engleberg. As the
attorney for the Yankee Clipper, Engleberg presided over memorabilia
deals and was active in negotiations over personal appearance fees.
Marv Schneider was the man who broke the news of the Yankee Clipper's
Death. A well known sports journalist, Schneider wrote for the
Associated Press for 43 years. He knew Joe Di very well.
"DiMaggio: Setting the Record Straight" by Morris Engleberg and Marv
Schneider with a foreword by Henry Kissinger (MBI Publishing, $24.95,
418 pages) is a surprising book, an eye opening book, a pleasing read.
There was much controversy after the Yankee legend's death and various
charges were bandied about. But to read this book is be immersed in the
life of Joe DiMaggio as seen by a man who was very close to him as well
as DiMag's nephew, granddaughters, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto
and Joe's pal Joe Nachio and others. The book is a memoir and a tribute.
Supplemented by striking and sometimes poignant photos as well as items
from the Yankee Clipper's diary make "DiMaggio: Setting the Record
Straight" Into a carefully crafted account of the eventful life and sad
death of an American sports hero. It is a book well worth reading.
The autobiography of David Wells - "Perfect I'm Not: Boomer on Beer,
Brawls, Backaches and Baseball" written with Chris Kreski (William
Morrow, $24.95, 414 pages) is trash talk, trashing of others, and trashy
reading. If you are into that kind of thing there's a lot to enjoy here.
If you are turned off, stay away from the book. There is stuff in this
trashy tome about Wells and his upbringing by his mother, "Attitude"
Annie, his minor league experiences in the Toronto Blue Jays system, his
times with Hell's Angels who performed the roles of father figures.
There is too much here about the aches and pains of the eccentric
pitcher - back pain, gout.
Ironically, while the Yankees ranted and railed about "Perfect I'm Not:
Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball," remarks by Wells about
his teammates and the Yankees are tame compared to the swipes he he
serves up about others. A for example: his educational tip to Baltimore
Orioles owner Peter Angelos: "... (1) Open legs; (2) remove head from
Wells admits "I talk a lot of shit, but I always back it up" He said it.
No argument here.
"Veeck as in Wreck," the autobiography of a baseball legend written by
Ed Linn (University of Chicago Press, paper, 398 pages) is a welcome
re-issue of a classic. The showman Veeck was an owner of the Cleveland
Indians, the St. Louis Browns and the Chicago White Sox - twice. In his
baseball time he innovated, angered, beguiled. He was an original. If
you have never read this book - go for it.
"Tales From the Braves Mound" by Atlanta's pitching coach Leo Mazzone
and Scott Freeman (Sports Publishing, $19.95, 218 pages) is about the
nucleus of the Braves' dynasty - Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John
Smoltz and how Mazzone contributed mightily to their success. "Tales
from the Cardinals Dugout" by Bob Forsch with Tom Wheatley (Sports
Publishing, $19.95, 182 pages) is required reading for St. Louis
# # #
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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