The Book Review
If you love a beautiful book, if you are a baseball fan, if you are a fan of prized archival photographs, if you have a special affection for the old Brooklyn Dodgers - if you are any of these "Through a Blue Lens" is just the book for you.
Sub-titled "The Brooklyn Dodgers Photographs of Barney Stein 1937-1957" by Dennis D'Agostino and Bonnie Crosby (Triumph Books, $27.95, 162 pages), the book is a real page turner. Ms. Crosby is the daughter of the late and great official photographer of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Mr. D'Agostino is a highly respected author and sports public relations executive especially know to many for his sparkling stint at Madison Square Garden. The two make a terrific team serving up words from such bleeding Dodger blue types as Vin Scully, Johnny Podres, Ralph Branca) and images (nearly 200 taken over 21 seasons by Barney Stein.
The result is a fabulous book, re-living the world and time of the Brooklyn Dodgers. For browsing, for gift giving, for treasuring -- make this your next sports book purchase.
" Ted Williams At War" by Bill Nowlin (Rounder Books, $24.95, 352 pages) is a sterling look in words and pictures focused on not only a terrific ball player but an authentic American hero. The "Kid" is the only Hall of Famer who served in two wars. A flight instructor with the Marines in World War II, Williams flew 39 combat missions in the Korean War. Nowlin, the author of 15 books and Vice President of the Society for American Baseball Research, knows his stuff and struts it in page after page in this important tome. The prolific and energetic Nowlin interviewed more than 40 pilots who flew with the Splendid Splinter and more than 100 who knew Williams during his military service.
This August Cal Ripken, Jr. will be officially inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In anticipation of that event we have "Get in the Game" from the baseball legend and Donald T. Phillips (Gotham Books, $26.00, 247 pages). The major focus of the work are "eight elements of perseverance that make the difference" and that surely made the difference in Ripken's career as he honed in breaking the Lou Gehrig consecutive games played record and setting the new one at 2,632. If you are a Ripken fan, if you want some sage advice on getting into any game - this is the book for you.
From Thunder Bay Press comes two engrossing picture book: "Ballpark: Then and Now" by Eric Enders and "Chicago: Baseball in the City" by Derek Gentile. The former is a roundup of parks then and now in words and pictures; the latter focuses on the national pastime in the windy city.
Coming soon: "You're Still Away" by Robert Sullivan (Maple Street Press, $19.95) is a on the drawing board and coming to bookstores very soon. Father's Day? It is a delightful and ranging work about so many facets and thrills that the world of golf contains as seen by a man who is the editorial director of LIFE books and accepts the game for what it is, which is much more than a game. Go for it. Highly recommended for golfers and those who like a wonderful read.
BACKLIST: "Great Baseball Films" by Ron Edelman (Citadel Press) is still a page turner and still very relevant. If you are a movie buff and a baseball book lover - Edelman's effort is your cup of tea.