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The Two Rogers: Kahn and Angell on Baseball

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

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 more.
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 historical moments.   

"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.

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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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