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World Series:  An Opinionated Chronicle
Sports Book Review

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

Baseball's long season is like an elimination tournament. The race to October is underway. Soon there will be just two teams standing. And they will play in the World Series, a special one, for this time around it will be the 100th Fall Classic.

Just in time to celebrate, re-tell, chronicle, muse about the games of October (and one in November) is "World Series: An Opinionated Chronicle" by Joseph Wallace (Abrams Books, $40.00, 232 pages). For page turning or for serious reading, this entertaining tome is worth having.

There are rankings of the 10 best and worst World Series, yet another look at the 1919 Black Sox scandal and Babe Ruth's "Called Shot" in the '32 series, Derek Jeter becoming the first Mr. November, Mickey Owens's nightmare in '41 and Don Larsen's perfection in '56.

Fusing black and white and full color photographs, narratives, quotes, factoids, irreverent opinions - Abrams and Wallace have produced a grand slam home run of a book.  

From Cedco Publishing Company in California (800-233-2624) comes a couple of remarkable daily sports calendars for 2004. "This Day in Baseball" and "This Day in Football" both by Charles R. Lejsek. If you are a fan and if you like to have sports trivia, factoids at your fingertips - go for these beautifully designed calendars.

Most things you would like to know about the baseball glove and other things you wouldn't  - they are all in "Glove Affairs" by Noah Lieberman (Triumph, $19.95, 150 pages). This slim volume packs all kinds of info about the romance, history and tradition of the baseball glove. There is material on the first gloves, glove collecting, maintaining the glove, breaking in, caring, odes to gloves, recollections of first gloves by such as Bernie Williams, Jim Palmer and Dave Winfield.

Also from Triumph Books  comes "The Jerome Holzman Baseball Reader" ($19.95, 232 pages. Holzman, the official historian of Major League Baseball and a grand guy who has spent more than a half century in the business of crafting terrific sports pieces, struts some of his best stuff in this volume. Holzman grew up in Chicago in the Marks National Jewish Orphan Home where he was placed  as a 10-year-old in 1936 after his father died. That experience is all over the book - compassion, humanism, wonder. There are some especially interesting pieces on Bob Feller, Roger Maris, Luis Aparicio, Ozzie Smith, Bill Veeck, lady umpires. Holzman also has opinions on Shoeless Joe Jackson (which I don't share having written "the book" on the subject) - but I won't hold that against him. 

For those who liked Mickey Rivers and the Yankees of the Bronx Zoo time - "Ain't No Sense Worryin'" by "Mick the Quick" and Michael DeMarco SportspublishingLLC, $19.95, 164 pages) is worth a read.  "Gozzlespeak" pervades this tome as quips, one-liners, ruminations, over-stated mini-essays are served up in this quick reader.

"The New Yorker Book of Baseball Cartoons" edited by Robert Mankoff  with Michael Crawford (Bloomberg Press, $21.95,  100 pages) covers eight decades of cartoons from the pages of the "New Yorker." There are 100 drawings in this beautifully produced book - all winners, all with something significant and entertaining to say about the national pastime.

Every once in a while a book comes along that shows how many different facets of baseball there are to write about. "Damn Senators" by Mark Gauvreau Judge (Encounter Books, $25.95, 160 pages) is such a book. Part memoir about the author's grandfather who was a storied first baseman for the old Washington Senators, part account of the team's 1924 World Series triumph, part tour through a slice of baseball Americana - the work is all enjoyable reading.


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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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