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Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review


Nostalgia, contemporary happenings, biography, one team close-ups - the range of writing on baseball is endless. Generally always interesting, these baseball books are most times carefully conceived and executed. Here are a few that got my attention.

"Ed Delahanty in the
Emerald Age of Baseball" by Jerrold Casway (University of Notre Dame Press, $25.00, 352 pages) is a winner. The title of the book comes from Delahanty's career that spanned the last decades of the nineteenth century during a time when the sons of post-famine Irish refugees dominated the sport. In this "Emerald Age" of baseball, Irish-American players made up from 30 to 50 percent of all players, managers, and team captains.
The author specializes in early modern Irish history and nineteenth-century baseball.  His work here is riveting reading,  page after page of interesting detail that evokes a time and a way of life in America and sports. It shows how baseball for Delahanty and some other fortunate young Irishmen was a ticket out of poverty and into a life of fame and fortune.

"Tales From the Orioles Dugout" by Louis Berney (SportsPublishing, $19.95, 202 pages) is entertaining stuff and especially recommended for fans of the O's. There are stories by and about such as Jackie Brandt, Gus Triandos, Boog Powell, Billy O'Dell, Cal Ripken, Jr., Tippy Martinez, Rick Dempsey. Too bad Babe Ruth was left out - he was born in Baltimore.  Author Berney has done his homework and done a fine job.

From prolific and accomplished sports author Maury Allen comes "Yankees Where Have You Gone?" (SportsPublishing    $24.95, 200 pages). A a trip down memory lane, the books visits 50 of the 1,300 players who have worn Yankee pinstripes through the decades. Clete Boyer, Ryne Duren, Tommy Henrich, Moose Skowron, Rom Bloomberg (the first DH), Don Baylor (Cub manager) Dave Righetti (San Francisco pitching coach), Willie Randolph (Yankee coach) and all the others get brief profiles of their time with the Bronx Bombers and then updates on what they are doing now.   It's a formulaic approach, but it works. It will work especially well for Yankee fans.

If minor league baseball is your thing than this absorbing account of life in the Cape Cod Summer League "The Last Best League" by Jim Collins (DaCapo Press, 288 pages, $24.00) is just the book for you. The author, a former baseball player at Dartmouth, spends a season with Chatham's A's, probably the most famous team in the league, a league  that     has produced one out of every six major league players, from Nomar Garciaparra and Todd Helton to Jeff Bagwell and Barry Zito.

Collins begins his book this way: "I first heard of the CAPE COD BASEBALL LEAGUE when I was an infielder at Dartmouth College in the early 1980s. Players didn't use the league's formal name, but rather talked wistfully about "playing on the Cape."  The book is all about playing on the Cape and is also a wonderful slice of Americana.


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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 .

Other Frommer sports related articles can be found at:   

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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