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Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

Spring Roundup (Part 4)

Lots of feedback about my reviews One and Two and Three – hope you all like Four. There are some special books commented on here that definitely belong on your bookshelf - -and if have not yet picked up a copy of my REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK – you don’t have to be a Red Sox fan to enjoy . . . so what are you waiting for.

The Yankee Clipper continues to provide a source of fascination for writers and readers. Now there is “Joe DiMaggio The Long Vigil” by Jerome Charyn (Yale University Press, $24.00, 192 pages) and “Beyond DiMaggio -  Italian Americans in Baseball by Lawrence Baldassaro, professor emeritus of Italian at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (University of Nebraska Press, $34.95 472 pages).The Charyn book goes way beyond hits, runs and errors.  He begins his slim but significant volume with “How can I ever explain the old Yankee Stadium to anyone who has not grown up in the Bronx? It was the one ornament we had in a borough that was nothing but a series of hinterlands.” And then the novelist and cultural critic goes off in an eye opening examination of DiMag – icon, Hall of Famer, money making commercial machine. There is lots of space devoted to Joe and Marilyn Monroe, not that much space as usually happens to his ball field exploits. That is okay. And it is also okay that Charyn carefully and with nuanced writing restores some of the glow of the old “Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?” image. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

“Beyond DiMaggio” by Lawrence Baldassaro (University of Nebraska Press, #34.95, 471 pages) has a foreword by Dom DiMaggio (Joe’s brother) and as Yogi probably would have answered if asked – “He must have written that before he died.”  It also has all kinds of stories about the magic and mystique of a host of “name” Italian American baseball players including Yogi, the “Little Professor,” Ron Santo, the Conigliaros, the talented and astute Rico Petrocelli and on and on.  The Italians have made it big in all sports but “biggest in baseball.”  Lawrence Baldassaro has a scholar’s slant, fan’s enthusiasm and an Italian’s heart as he invokes and evokes the memories and stories of those who line up “beyond DiMaggio.” HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Still in an icon frame of mind – there is from Yale University Press “Hank Greenberg” by Mark Kurlansky ($25.00, 224 pages). Sub-titled “The Hero Who Did not Want to be One,” this terrific tome traces the life and times of an incredibly talented and also honorable man. Greenberg took a stand on all kinds of moral issues.  MUST READ.

“Take Time For Paradise” by A. Bartlett Giamatti (Bloomsbury, $15.00, 105 pages) is a slender work that speaks volumes. Philosophical, profound, the late commissioner has left us a remarkable read on the manifold aspects of the national pastime.

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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. 
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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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