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!

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