The Two Rogers: Kahn
and Angell on Baseball
Frommer on Sports
Harcourt Brace is a very fortunate publisher to have
both Roger Kahn and Roger Angell on its list. This spring it has slammed a
grand slam home run with two important books from the two storied baseball
authors. Both books belong on your sports bookshelf.
"October Men" by Kahn ($25.00, 368 pages, two 8-page black and white photo
inserts) is the story of the 1978 dysfunctional Bronx Bombers. "Game Time"
by Angell ($25.00, 398 pages) is a collection of the "New Yorker" writer's
favorite as well as new and never before published baseball pieces.
The man who brought us the classic "Boys of Summer" is at top form here as
he evokes and analyzes the Yankee '78 season and gives us stunning
portraits of George Steinbrenner, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Bucky
Dent, Ron Guidry, Catfish Hunter, Goose Gossage, Sparky Lyle, Graig
Nettles, and on and on.
"October Men" starts off in Chapter One with these well chosen words: "On
the early evening of October 1, 1978, after six months of roistering with
an intensity unmatched in the long history of hyperkinetic , high-proof
roistering that so enriches the annals of American baseball, the New York
Yankees found themselves tied for first place." And from that sentence
on the Brooklyn-born Kahn spins his narrative arc through the 1978 season
culminating with the one-game, tie breaker playoff- game at Fenway and the
Bucky dent home run.
"Game Time," a collection of old and new prose by Roger Angell, is edited
by Steve Kettmann and has an intro by Richard Ford. Roger Angell, who has
been writing about baseball for more than forty years, has created a work
here that can be sipped like fine wine with its carefully crafted
portraits of Fenway Park, Bob Gibson, Willie Mays, Pedro Martinez and many
The annual "Complete Baseball Record Book" (Sporting News Books, $18.95,
556 pages) has tables, charts, stats, records galore. For those with a yen
for Major League Baseball data, this is the book for you. For those with a
yen to own beautiful baseball picture books there's a nifty one with text
by Joe Zoss and John S. Bowman - "The Pictorial History of Baseball
(Thunder Bay Press, 256 oversized pages). Full color and black and white
images of players, teams, events and memorabilia adorn the pages of this
carefully packaged product. For browsing, reference, or just pure
enjoyment, this is a book to keep on your baseball bookshelf.
Jerome Holzman was named the first Official Historian for Major League
Baseball in 1999. It was a fitting naming for a man who was a baseball
beat writer and columnist for 56 years in Chicago. I still remember his
kindness to me when I was in the Windy City working on my first baseball
book. I was amazed at his national pastime knowledge. That knowledge is
showcased in the "Jerome Holzman Baseball Reader" (Triumph Books, $19.95,
232 pages) - a collection of ruminations on some of baseball's magical and
"Grandpa Gordy's Greatest World Series Games" (iUniverse, $9.95, 105
pages, paper) is just in time for the 100th anniversary of the World
Series. This is a charming book that recounts some of the finest moment of
the Falk Classic.
# # #
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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