Frommer on Sports
"The Greatest Game" and other Very Interesting Reads
Yankees Versus Red Sox makes for always interesting
reading. In the interests of full disclosure that was the subject of
what many call the definitive book on the subject "RED SOX VS YANKEES:
THE GREAT RIVALRY written by yours truly and his son Frederic Frommer.
So it was with great interest that I read "The
Greatest Game: The Yankees, the Red Sox and the Playoff of '78'" by
Richard Bradley (Simon and Schuster, $25.00, 286 pages).
Even though the book is focused on one aspect of the
"Rivalry," it does not disappoint. It is in fact riveting reading.
Bradley interviewed so many to create this montage of wonderful
memories. Even some of those who were actually on the field that fateful
October 2, 1978,a warm day at Fenway when "Bucky hit the tin" are here
telling the old stories with vivid recall: Bucky Dent, Fred Lynn, Lou
Piniella, Goose Gossage, Carl Yastrzemski, et al.
"It's going to be Yaz, Goose Gossage thought. In the
bottom on the ninth, it's going to be me against Yaz," that is how "The
Greatest Game: The Yankees, the Red Sox and the Playoff of '78'" begins
and it never lets up.
Still in a Yankee vein is "Rumor in Town" by Matt
Dahlgren (Woodlyn Lane, California, $24.95, 300 pages). It is a
grandson's paean and homage and keeping of a promise to his grandfather
– former pinstriper Babe Dahlgren. Matt Dahlgren completed the book
his grandfather who passed away in 1996 was working on. Rich in
anecdote, filled with perceptions of players and long ago days of the
national pastime, "Rumor in Town" is a winner.
"FAR FROM HOME" by Tim Wendell and Jose Luis Villegas
(National Geographic, $28.00, 159 pages) is all about as its sub-title
proclaims "Latino Baseball Players Chasing the American Dream." Fusing
excellent narrative, interviews with top name former players like
Orlando Cepeda, Minnie Minoso, Luis Tiant, Sammy Sosa and 100 full color
and black and white photos – the book begins in 1878 when Cuba was the
host to the first league in Caribbean.
In the same vein from the University of Illinois comes
"Viva Baseball" by Samuel O. Regaldo (paper) all about Latin major
leaguers and their special hunger in the words of the sub-title. The
book does not shy away from controversy, from racism directed against
Latino players even today.
For those into the history of the national pastime
expounded by an expert "Baseball: A History of America's Game" third
edition by Benjamin G. Rader (University of Illinois Press, paper) is
the book for you.
"The Smart Girl's Guide to Sports" by Liz Hartman
Musiker (Plume, $15.00, 332 pages) is as its sub-title cleverly declares
"an essential handbook for women who don't know a slam dunk from a grand
MOST NOTABLE: "Netherland" by Joseph O' Neill
(Pantheon, $23.95, 256 pages) is not exactly a sports book but a
brilliant and lyrical and inventive novel set against the backdrop of
post 9/11 New York City and the game of cricket. It is a joy to read and
just a perfect treat for hazy and humid summer days evoking a time and a
place so expertly.
WORTH OWNING: The 2008 Hank Greenberg 75th Anniversary
Edition of Jewish Major Leaguers Baseball Cards. Contact info: JML,104
Greenlawn Avenue Newton, MA 02459, 617-969-6244, Martin_Abramowitz@yahoo.com
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