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The Ballpark Book

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

There are baseball books one reads. There are baseball books one keeps. There are baseball books one savors. "The Ballpark Book" is all three of these.

Written by the talented baseball author Ron Smith, ("The Ballpark Book," The Sporting News Books, $39.95, 335 pages) is as its sub-title proclaims "a journey through the fields of baseball magic."

There are more than 400 archival photographs and so much text by Smith and wonderful illustrations by Kelvin Belford. There are the classic parks showcased like Fenway, Wrigley and Yankee Stadium, places long gone like Braves Field in Boston, Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. and others. There are the new and newest spots like Turner Field in Atlanta and PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

All of the "green cathedrals" are laid out lovingly and carefully in a book that is one you should not keep on your bookshelf but instead have handy as a reference source. There is much to read, much to look at. "The Ballpark Book" is a grand slammer!

"Autumn Glory" by Louis P. Masur (Hill and Wang, $23.00, 244 pages) is a smallish book that focuses on the first World Series in baseball History in 1903 - - -the established Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League against the upstart Boston Americans of the new American League. Masur, a prof at CCNY, has done his homework detailing in chapter and verse  what Pittsburgh, Boston, America and baseball were all like in that long ago time. The book begins with "He wanted to hold the ball in his hand. He walked slowly, but not just because of age." And we are off to an enjoyable reading experience.

Now in a new life in its 6th edition, "The Yankee Encyclopedia" by Mark Gallagher ($49.95, 606 pages) is an omnibus look at all things Yankees. You loyal reviewer is even quoted on the back cover for comments he made as a writer for "Yankees Magazine" regarding the first edition:

"Hefty, complete, well-organized, "The Yankee Encyclopedia" is a massive collection of information about the greatest franchise in the history of baseball. It's a very large book, and you'll have to make room to fit it on your Yankees bookshelf. But it will be well worth the effort."

From Sports Publishing comes "The Detroit Tigers Encyclopedia" by Jim Hawkins and Dan Ewald ($39.95, 400 pages). Hawkins and Ewald have a long time involvement with the Tigers and this book shows it. Many photos, all kinds of profiles and interesting stories, lists and trivia, the playing fields of the franchise - - including terrific info on Comerica Park, the new home of the Detroiters - - are part of the mix. The book carries a hefty price tag, but delivers a lot and for fans of the Detroit Tigers - this one is for you.
 
From Houghton Mifflin comes via Glenn Stout "Top of the Heap" ($13.00, 344 pages, paper) and "Impossible Dreams" ($13.00, 400 pages, paper). The former book is a collection of writing about the New York Yankees. The latter is a collection of writing about the Boston Red Sox.
 

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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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