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What Baseball Means to Me

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

Mix and match 150 celebrity voices like Ernie Banks, Dan Rather, Pedro Martinez, Vin Scully, George W. Bush, Jon Miller, Tom Brokaw, Monte Irvin, Robert Dole.  Stir in 200 color and black and white vintage photographs from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Get a celebrated editor and baseball historian like Curt Smith to steer the project along.

The result is “What Baseball Means to Me” ($34.95, 288 pages) – a book that is entertaining, engrossing, evocative, one to savor especially its lines like: “In 1989 Nolan Ryan struck out Rickey Henderson for his 5,000th strikeout. The place went wild: Nolan graciously received the accolades but insisted the game go on. After all, baseball is a team sport.” – George W. Bush.

For those who have not had their fill of Yogi Berra and/or the 2002 World Series – two paperbacks - The Anaheim Angels by Ross Newhan (Hyperion, $14.95, 372 pages) and When You Come to A Fork in the Road, Take It  by Yogi Berra (Hyperion, $11.00, 175 pages) are reads waiting for you. Newhan’s book is required reading for Anaheim fans. Berra’s banter is always the same – entertaining, if you are into that sort of stuff. 

University Presses are publishing some very focused baseball books.  A few of the more interesting ones include: A Summer Up North by Jerry Poling (University of Wisconsin Press, $19.95, 187 pages, paperback) – a look  at the first minor league season of 18-year-old Hank Aaron and his time with the Eau Claire Bears. From the University of Massachusetts publishing arm comes Epic Season by David Kaiser ($19.95, 281 pages, paperback). The work is a day-by-day history of the 1948 baseball season with special focus on the incredibly exciting pennant race. Baseball’s Natural  by John Theodore (Southern Illinois University Press, 136 pages, hardcover) is a bio of Eddie Watikus, the Cubs and Phillies first baseman in the mid 20th century who inspired the character of Roy Hobbs in Bernard Malamud’s The Natural.

From McFarland ( 800 253 2187), one of the leading publishers of baseball books, comes Louis Sockalexis:The First Cleveland Indian ($28.50, 219 pages, softcover). The book tells an in depth story of the life a Penobscot Indian from Maine, the first of his race to play in the major leagues.  

Hockey Dynasties, Blue Lines and Blood Lines  General Editor Lance Hornby and otherrs (Firefly Books, Ltd. $40,00, 256 pages)   The book is an era byt era look at pro hoickeys proliferation of family ties. From the six no-nonsense Sutters to the Bobby and Brett Hull father/son rivalry. The book has more than 250 splendid photographs.  An especially interesting chapter is “Oh, Brother”  which focuses on Sibling rivalries like those of Wayne and Keith Primeau, Phil and Tony Esposito and Maurice and Henri Richard. For hockey fans – this entertaining book is one for you.

Flatbellies by A. B. Hollingsworth (Sleeping Bear Press, $22.95, 343 pages) is a nostalgic and moving journey back to the heartland of America – the way it was nearly 40 years ago. Its main focus is the goal of a small Oklahoma town’s high school golf team to win the championship. It is a novel that will touch you.

Mr Ryder’s Trophy, written and illustrated by Shirley Dusinberre Durham (Sleeping Bear Press, $22.95, 286 pages) is a tip of the cap to the game of golf. The beautifully written book is a fable-like telling of a young woman meeting and communicating with Samuel Ryder, the founder of the  Ryder Cup Matches.

Two other interesting books from Sleeping Bear Press focused on golf are Take Dead Aim by Don Wade ($24.95, 272 pages) and In My Dreams I Walk With You by Dennis Walters with James Achenbach ($24.95, 223 pages). The Wade book is a suspenseful novel where during the final round of the LA Open the No. 1 golfer in the world is shot and killed by a sniper in front of a national TV audience. In My Dreams I Walk WithYou is a story of Dennis Walters, one day a promising golfer, the next a paraplegic as a result of a horrible accident – and how he overcame.

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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 .

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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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Last Revised: Friday, May 15, 2015 06:38:58 AM
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