Frommer on Sports
Built to Win and Other Noteworthy Reads
John Schuerholz of the Atlanta Braves is the winningest general
manager in the big leagues. His "Built to Win" with Larry Guest
(Warner Books, $24.95, 272 pages) is a true inside look at how the
fate and fortunes of the most successful baseball team of the last 15
years has been handled.
Schuerholz's tricks of the trade, how he copes with an $80-million
payroll in an era of megabuck payouts, what he thinks of the much
ballyhooed "Moneyball" baseball management theory and why he prefers
his own style - "winning-ball." These and many more themes pervade
"Built to Win," a book filled with interesting, inside anecdotes and
perspectives on the national pastime. Highly recommended reading.
One wonders why after all these years Mike Schmidt decided to write a
book. No matter - the Philly legend has done the right thing in
"Clearing the Bases" (with Glen Waggoner, $24.95, 199 pages). The ten
time Gold Glover, Hall of Famer and member of the All Century team
lets it all hang out in his spirited broadside on sham records, juiced
players, and other things wrong with the game he lovess. As the book's
sub-title proclaims - it is Mike Schmidt's search for the "soul of
baseball." There is much to agree with Mike about, much to admire him
for saying what others would not say. If you are a Mike Schmidt fan or
just care about the state of Major League Baseball - this is the books
For those who never got their fill of New York sports radio's WFAN's
Christopher Russo - there is now "The Mad Dog Hall of Fame, the
Ultimate Top-Ten Rankings of the Best in Sports" (Doubleday, $23.95,
284 pages). Shrill, over-stated, and of course highly opinionated -
that's what C. Russo and his book are all about.
For zealots only.
The much celebrated Ira Berkow has been on the staff of the "New York
Times" for a long, long time. His "Full Swing Hits, Runs and Errors in
a Writer's Life" (Ivan R. Dee, $26.00, 289 pages) is a marvelous
memoir of events witnessed and written about, of celebrities known and
learned from. I was especially interested as the biographer of Red
Holzman to read what Berkow had to say about the sorely missed, late
and legendary coach of the New York Knicks. On target stuff here -
and moving, too.
If you like Berkow - and why shouldn't you - get a copy of this book
and keep it in a place of prominence on your sports bookcase.
"Day By Day with the Boston Red Sox" by Bill Nowlin (Rounder Books,
$19.95, 614 pages, paper) is a must have reference book for all fans
of the team from the Hub. The author, born just 3.9 miles from Fenway
Park is a BoSox zealot. That zeal and many facts and factoids
intermingle on the pages of this terrific timeline tome.
More Lou Gehrig: The classic "Iron Horse Lou Gehrig in his Time by
"Ray Robinson (W.W. Norton, $14.95, 300 pages. paper) is thankfully
out in this brand new edition - and we are all the better for it.
Marvelous writing by a true old pro. And there is also" The Life of
Lou Gehrig Told By a Fan" by Sara Kaden Brunsvold (Acta Sports,
$14.95, 252 pages, paper. This is a highly readable montage of
memories about the legendary Yankee first baseman who died too soon.
The first black full-time beat reporter to cover the Yankees - Cecil
Harris - offers anecdotes and opinions on his time there in "call the
Yankees My Daddy" (The Lyons Press, $14.95, 241 pages, paper).
A little book with a lot to offer is "Extraordinary Putting" by Fred
Shoemaker with Jo Hardy (G.P. Putnam's Son, $21.95, 189 pages). A
revered coach muses on the game and offers many tips from a pro.
"Black Maestro" by New York Times reporter Joe Drape is a bio of
Jimmy Winkfield, the last black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby.
The book is riveting and consciousness raising.
FOR THE KIDS: "Roasted Peanuts" by Tim Egan (Houghton Mifflin) is a
beautifully produced book about baseball and loyalty and friendship.
# # #
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
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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