Saturday, March 24, 2007

DEADBALL STARS of the American League and other Spring Reads

The Book Review:

Even the nearly 600 foot winding driveway that leads to my home is becomingmore and more bearable as winter's bad weather memories recede and the "Boys ofSummer" books make their way up to the house by sometimes cheerful and carefulUPS and FedEx drivers."DEADBALL STARS of the American League" edited by David Jones (Potomac Books,$24.95, 812 pages, paperback) is a mother and father lode of data offeringnearly 140 bios of players and personalities from that long ago time. The wholedeal was put together by more than 85 members of SABR's Deadball Era Committee.

For fans of the Red Sox of Boston -here are two for you. The reissued "Fenway" by Dan Shaughnessy and Stan Grossfeld (Houghton Mifflin($29.95, 190 pages) hits a home run again! It is billed as a bio of the Fens inwords and pictures and that it is.

"The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox" edited by Bill Nowlin and Dan Desrochers(Rounder Books, 382 pages) is a fabulous collection of images and writing aboutthe 100-1 BoSox team that went all the way. Authoritative, entertaining,entrancing, this book belongs on your sports bookshelf.

From Yale University Press comes "Bart Giamatti A Profile" by Robert P.Moncreiff ($35.00, 219 pages with 22 black and white photos) which of coursefocuses on the life and times of the former baseball commissioner. Vivid,touching, perhaps not having as much baseball stuff in it as fans would like anda bit pricey - this nevertheless is a highly worthwhile read.

Highly Notable: "A Great Day in Cooperstown" by Jim Reisler (Carroll and Graf,$15.95, 241 pages, paper) is a splendid slice of Americana and baseball historytold by a writer who knows the score."The story of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a triumph ofpublic relations, organization and old fashioned persistence," Reisler writes.And from there on we are captivated by the twists and turns and politics of thetime and the event. Buy the book!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Book Review:

STAT BOOK TREATS FOR ALL: The 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia and More
Facts, figures, factoids, tables, charts, numbers . . .if all of these are your game - you have come to the right place.

"The 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia" edited by Gary Gilette and Pete Palmer (Sterling Publishing, $24.95, 1760 pages) is a grand slam collection of everything baseball.
Also from Sterling is "All-New Baseball Brainteasers" by Michael Morse ((9.95, 160 pages) - -a book that has all the questions and all the answers about 60 challenging rules situations that took place in real-life big league baseball games.

From Acta Sports comes "How Bill James Changes Our View of Baseball" edited by Gregory Augustine Pierce ($19.95, 144 pages), a no holds barred outright bit of homage to James and "The New Ball Game" by Glenn Guzzo ($14.95, 160 pages) a primer on old time baseball stats and several new fangled ones.

"The Bill James Handbook" features Ryan Howard on the cover, by Bill Jamesby and Baseball Info Solutions ($21.95, 480 pages) is a mother lode of Jamesian baseball knowledge and insights complete with stats, registers, projections - you're going to love it.

And two more from Acta Sports are "The Fielding Bible" by John Dewan and Baseball Info Solutions ($19.95, 241 pages) (features Miguel Tejada on the cover) and "The Hardball Times Baseball Annual" ($29.95, 352 pages). The usual suspects cover the usual subject matter and a lot more.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Five O'Clock Lightning . . .


"Harvey Frommer brings the perceptive eye of an historian to what was arguably the most feared batting order of all time. Add to that his contagious enthusiasm for classic baseball and you have a most enjoyable book. - Roger Kahn

" The 1927 Yankees may or may not have been the best team ever, but surely this is the best book about that wonderful concentration of talent." --George F. Will

" ... a great eye for detail and a wonderful ability to bring his characters to life..."- Jonathan Eig, "The Luckiest Man" "Baseball's greatest team as recounted by baseball's greatest author." -- --Seth Swirsky, "Baseball Letters" and "Something to Write Home About"

."An engrossing and entertaining look at a mythical baseball team..." - Leigh Montville, 'The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth "Home run. Sweet look back..."-- Dan Shaughnessy, author of "Senior Year"

Five O'Clock Lightning
Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and the Greatest Team in Baseball History, the 1927 New York Yankees
Harvey Frommer

The definitive account of the 1927 New York Yankees.

"Harvey Frommer has a great eye for detail and a wonderful ability to bring his characters to life. The book is a delight." -- Jonathan Eig, author of Luckiest Man and Opening Day

Drawing on oral histories, long-buried letters, and other archival material, Harvey Frommer tells the fascinating story of the greatest season of baseball's greatest team, offering the facts and stats that fans love, revealing the colorful and sometimes controversial details of the lives of the players as well as what happened to them after the storied season.

Harvey Frommer is a celebrated oral historian and sports author who has written almost forty sports books, including A Yankee Century and Red Sox vs.Yankees, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. Cited in the Congressional Record and the New York State Legislature as a sports historian, Professor Emeritus, City University of New York, he is a professor at Dartmouth College in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program.

Hardcover * ISBN-10: 0-471-77812-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-471-77812-7
$24.95 US * $29.99 CAN * £15.99 UK
288 pages * 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 * tk books per carton
[tk] B&W photos
All Rights except tk

Sunday, March 04, 2007

CRAZY '08 and other Worthy Reads


Spring time is when baseball books come in a rush - crowding book shelves in stores, competing for attention in the media, arriving in the mail of book reviewers.
Here is a look at some in the first batch of spring '07.

"CRAZY '08" by Cait Murphy (Smithsonian Books, $24.95, 368 pages) is a winner. I said so in a blurb that appears on the back cover of the book: "Zany, lively, filled with all kinds of delicious baseball detail - Cait Murphy has hit a grand slam with this important account of what was happening in the national pastime in 1908. I love it!" It was a time of all kinds of interesting characters and happenings and most of all the time of the Cubs of Chicago. Go for this book!

From Stewart, Tabori, Chang/Abrams Books comes two winners: "101 Reasons to Love the Dodgers" by Ron Green, Jr. and "101 Reasons to Love the Giants" by David Green, both 120 pages and priced at $14.95. The books are exquisitely laid out with archival black and white and glorious color photos. Green's snappy prose merges with trivia and stats. The works are recommended for the book shelves of Giant and Dodger fans - and for all baseball fans who want new takes on two of the great franchises in National League history.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: "Satchel Paige, Don't Look Back" written by David A. Adler and Illustrated by Terry Widener (Harcourt Children's Books, $16.00, 32 pages) is geared to ages 5 to 8. But this is really a book for all ages and for gift giving or to retain as part of your sports library. "Satchel Paige may have been the best pitcher ever," the book begins and we are then there through his many baseball highlights in clear and concise prose and brilliant and appealing art.