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Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston

The fans of the Boston Red Sox have suffered long and hard. Now comes "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston" by Howard Bryant (Routledge, $27.50, 278 pages). Bryant, is a journalist for the "Bergen Record" who covers the Yankees. He is also a native of Boston.

His book is a hard hitting story of seventy years of bigoted ownership by the Yawkey family, of black players insisting on "no trade" clauses in their contract to the Red Sox. It is a book that carefully reveals how the BoSox turned away from excellent chances to sign Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. These are just of a few of the well documented and eye popping headlines in "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston".

Controversial, anecdotal, insightful, the book is a keeper. It is about the Red Sox, but also about race relations in Boston. Based on over 100 interviews, four years in the making - Shut Out is well worth the purchase price.

"Spring Training" by William Zinsser (University of Pittsburgh Press, $14.00, 224 pages, paperback) is a new edition of a 1989 book that now has a new intro and postscript. The work focuses on the 1988 Pirates in spring training in Bradenton, Florida. Reading this terrific book is like being transported back in time to a simpler moment in baseball history.

"A Century of Greatness" by Ron Smith (The Sporting News, $29.95, 256 pages,) is still another book in the crowded field of Yankee 100th anniversary books. This one is very lovely to look at.

Also from Sporting News Books comes "Official Major League Baseball Fact Book 2003 Edition" ($19.95, 421 pages, paper). This is a mother lode of facts, figures, charts, lists - a baseball fan's delight. Team histories, records by positions, season games, innings, more baseball than you ever knew existed.

One of the more interesting takes on Yankee history (you have probably noticed the glut of books on the franchise) is "Before They Were Bombers" by Jim Reisler (McFarland, Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640, $35.00, 282 pages). The book focuses on the years 1903-1915, a time the team was known as the Highlanders and also by other names. Carefully researched, "Before They Were Bombers" presents a fascinating tale of long ago baseball in the Bronx and in the early years of the American League.

Coming in April from Ballantine - yet another 100th anniversary book. This one is "New York Yankees: One Hundred Years." It carries a hefty price tag - -fifty bucks for its 256 pages.

Warner Books has slated for April veteran sportswriter Bill Madden's "Pride of October: What It Was to Be Young and a Yankee" and "The Long Ball: The Summer of '75 -Spaceman, Catfish, Charlies Hustle and the Greatest World Series Ever Played."

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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 .

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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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