World Series: An
Sports Book Review
Frommer on Sports
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
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.
# # #
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
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