Something to Write
Frommer on Sports
The idea was simple. Contact celebrities who are also baseball fans and
have them reminisce about the national pastime. The look content, impact
of "Something to Write Home About" by Seth Swirsky (Crown, $25.95, 191
pages) is stunningly memorable.
There are two hundred photographs, memorabilia and a moving collection
of letters (some hand-written )from such as Presidents George W. Bush,
George Bush, Paul McCartney, Tom Seaver, Senator Ted Kennedy, Babe Ruth,
Seth Swirsky is a pop songwriter and the author of "Baseball Letters"
and "Every Pitcher Tells a Story." He is at the top of his creative form
in this winning volume that you will want to keep in a place of
prominence on your sports bookshelf.
Now out in paperback "Now Pitching for the Yankees" by Marty Appel
(Sport Classic Books, $13.95, 383 pages) is an inside look into the
behind-the-scenes Yankee stuff. Appel spins tale after tale about the
Bronx Zoo years as seen from his perspective in the front office during
that time period. A home run of a book!
From the Lyon Press comes "Classic Baseball Stories" edited by Jeff
Silverman 8($9.95, 290 pages, paper). The book features essays on the
national pastime from such talents as Grantland Rice, Ring Lardner and
For those with deep rooted interest in the sport "The Hidden Language of
Baseball" by Paul Dickson (Walker & Company, $22.00, 228 pages) is worth
checking out. Dickson goes into amazing and sometimes amusing detail
explicating how sign and sing-stealing have influenced the course of our
It a best seller and it is highly acclaimed by critics everywhere. But
"Teammates" by David Halberstram (Hyperion, $22.95, 203 pages) is also a
testament to how far image and reputation can take one.
The book would have been terrific as a long magazine article. As a book
it is a stretch - the recounting by one of my favorite sports authors of
the 1,300 mile auto trip made in early October 2,001 by Dom DiMaggio and
Johnny Pesky to visit their dying long-time friend and teammate Ted
Williams. It is also a recounting of DiMaggio-Pesky-Bobby Doerr and Ted
Williams and their shining time as Boston Red Sox. The book has many
moments of eloquence, moving perceptions. But the slim "Teammates" could
have benefited from some kind of table of contents, an index and much
"A boring collection" is the kindest phrase I can use to describe Rob
Neyer's "Big Book of Baseball Lineups: A Guide to the Best, Worst, and
Most Memorable Players to Ever Grace the Major Leagues" (Fireside,
$16.00, 352 pages).
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