Top Books for Sports
Frommer on Sports
For those hooked on sports as readers or collectors -
two new books belong right up there on your bookshelf: "Ultimate
Sports Lists" by Mike Meserole (DK Publishing, $17.95, 224pp.) and
"The Giants Encyclopedia" by Tom Schott and Nick Peters (Sports
Publishing, Inc., $39.95, 592pp.).
"Ultimate Sports Lists" is the second annual
edition of this work, and in its expanded form is even more enjoyable,
full of stats and facts. All the major sports are included as well as the
Olympics, horse racing, auto racing and some miscellaneous items.
This is the "ultimate" book for settling
sports arguments and for looking up trivia and information. The hockey
section, for example, has lists like: most career hat tricks, best teams
by decades, winningest WHA teams 1972-1979, and oldest and youngest head
coaches (King Clancy, age 69, Toronto -1972 and Gary Green, age 26,
"Ultimate Sports Lists" in trade paperback
format, carefully organized by sport, is highly attractive with many color
and black and white photographs. It is a product that does not fall into
the bad habit so many "stat" books have - printing tables and
numbers in small type. That is definitely a plus.
My favorite section of the book deals with what Meserole
calls "Etcetera." Here we learn that Michael Jordan leads all
athletes for bragging rights for being on the cover of "Sports
Illustrated" - 46 times.
Muhammad Ali is the runner-up with 35 appearances. Then
there is "TV Guide's" Greatest Sports Moments. In first place
was Carton Fisk's 12th-inning homer in Game Six of the 1975 World Series.
Most popular participation sport in the United States is exercise walking,
as 76.3 million engage in that activity, according to the National
Sporting Goods Association.
"The Giants Encyclopedia" has a massive amount
of data from the first pitch at the original Polo Grounds on May 1, 1883
to the final out at 3Com Park on September 30, 1999. Unlike many other
baseball encyclopedias, this one is not all stats. There is an awful lot
to read about owners and executives, prominent managers, broadcasters,
There are all kinds of interesting collections of facts
and insights into the fabled Giants franchise. Examples include the team
that played in eight different locations through 1999; catcher Ernie
Lombardi had seven RBI in a 26-8 rout of the Brooklyn Dodgers during a
1944 game. But in that same game, the franchise record for RBI was set by
Giant first baseman Phil Weintraub, who collected 11.
Such is the style and the substance of "The Giants
Encyclopedia". The only real complaint about this neatly laid out and
well organized publication is in the area of proofreading. Errors in
spelling abound and there are instances where key words get transposed as
in the Lombardi-Weintraub entry.
BOOKENDS: "Godforsaken Sea" by Derek Lundy
(Algonquin Books, $22.95, 272pp.) is one of the best books ever written
about sailing. It is the story of the 1996-1997 Vendee Globe, a grueling
and demanding circumnavigation of the globe in the highly dangerous waters
of the Southern Ocean.
# # #
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.
FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and
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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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