Frommer on Sports
Spring Baseball Books
Part II: "Under The March Sun," "Becoming Manny," "As They
See 'Em," "Hardball Times Season Preview 2009"
All sizes, all shapes and for
all tastes and budgets the spring 2009 parade of books about
different aspects of the national pastime keep coming. Some
are from famous authors and major publishers with some
advertsing and marketing muscle behind them. Others are by
first time orf little known authors from mid-level or small
houses. All have something to offer especially if you are
a baseball fan.
"Definitive, fascinating, a groundbreaking cultural and
sports history of spring training from humble origins to
megamillion status today. A winner." Those are the words I
used to blurb "Under The March Sun" by Charles Fountain
(Oxford University Press ($24.95, 336 pages) when I first
came into contact with the work before it was an actual
book. I feel the same way about it now. Fountain has created
a fountainhead of work from the phenomenon's origins in the
19th century to the present - this is a home run of a book
filled with anecdotes, facts, facets bound to illuminate and
entertain. I write this from the Ft. Meyers region as I get
set to interview for my book in progress REMEMBERING FENWAY
PARK and am experiencing the spring training phenomenon that
Fountain wrote about.
"Becoming Manny" is the effort of Dr. Jean Rhodes, the
world's leading expert on youth mentoring and a professor at
the University of Massachusetts in Boston and Shawn Boburg,
a reporter at the Record in New Jersey. Published by
Scribner, priced at $25.00, 304 pages - this carefully
crafted work - - the result of access to Manny Ramirez and
his family, friends, teammates and handlers is fascinating
stuff about the man many view as the Greta Garbo of
baseball. What you see is often not what you get. In the
crass and common world of gee whiz biographies, this combo
bio and autobiography reveals much about a gifted and
sensitive athlete and the world he lives in. Its sub-title
proclaims: "Inside the Life of Baseball's Most Enigmatic
Slugger" and that it is. NOTABLE!
"As They See 'Em,"( Scribner, $26.00, 352 pages) is an
inside book compiled by author Bruce Weber after talking
with about one third of the umpires who plied their tough
trade 2006-2008 - - and that is only part of this effort.
Weber, who has been with The New York Times in various roles
since the mid 1980s, reveals a journalist's curiosity and a
fan's zeal as he ranges far and wide over issues, icons,
irrirtations and insights. If the wide world of umpires is
your dish - this is the book for you.
"Hardball Times Season Preview 2009" (Acta Sports, $19.95,
296 pages) is a bargain for all it has to offer. A think
tank of analyses, graphs, stats, essays, projection and
commentaries for over a thousand players and all 30 MLB
teams - this is a mother and father lode of all stuff
baseball for the new
# # #
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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