"Baseball Bits" by Dan Schlossberg (Alpha/Penguin Group, $16.95, 253 pages) is a home run of a book dealing with as it does in an interesting, highly organized manner all kinds of facts, stats, trivia about the national pastime. The prolific Schlossberg , author now of 33 baseball books and more than 25,000 articles about the sport produced in an almost 40-year career, hasn't lost a step. Go for his newest.
We learn all kinds of things thumbing through the pages of this tome: Ken Griffey and son Jr. were the only father-son to go back to back with homers; the original lighting system for night baseball in Cincinnati cost $55,000; when Fenway was re-sodded in 1967, Carl Yastrzemski was able to have the bluegrass removed from left field to his lawn in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. These and other nuggets are all over "Baseball Bits." HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
"Crazy Good" by Charles Leerhsen (Simon & Schuster, $26.00, 368 pages) evokes another time, another America, one that existed at the turn at the 20th century. It is about a real hero of that era - not Ty Cobb who made $12,000 in salary but Dan Patch (a horse) who made over a million dollars. Leerhsen skillfully weaves time and place and the world of the pacer, one that Dan Patch dominated. This is a "crazy good" read.
Mike Lupica, the storied New York Daily News columnist, is at it again in his other life as best-selling author of sports books for young readers. Coming soon from Penguin - - "Comeback Kids: "Safe at Home" and "Long Shot."
And for you fans of the Amazin's there are books right up your alley: "Mets By The Numbers by Joel Springer and Matthew Silverman(Skyhorse, $14.95, 304 pages, paper) and "The New York Mets" by Richard Grossinger (Frog, Ltd., North Atlantic Books, $16.95, 315 pages). Both books have much merit. The Springer/Silverman effort leaves no number unturned in this exhaustive study of the history (by uniform number) of the team from Flushing. The Grossinger effort serves up essays on what it has been like through the years to root for the Mets through good times and bad ones. The book has an attitude about it just as the Mets have always had.
From Welcome Books (Insight Editions) comes a welcome book – especially for fans of the team - - “San Francisco Giants: 50 Years” by Brian Murphy. Priced at $50.00 with hundreds of over-sized pages, this is lush, lavish, loving tribute to the team, its players and fans and management. With a foreword by Danny Glover and an afterword by Willie Mays, what could be better. This is a collectible worth collecting.
With the football season soon gearing up there is “Pro Football Prospectus: 2008 by Aaron Schatz (Plume, $21.95, 409 pages). If you want all you need to know about the pro grid game – this is the tome for you.
Another book of interest in a similar vein is “The Football Uncyclopedia” by Michael Kun and Adam Hof (Clerisy Press, $15.95, 272 pages). The book is billed as “a highly opinionated myth-busting guide to America’ game.” It is not quite that but it is very interesting reading and rummaging.
Harvey Frommer is his 33rd consecutive year of writing sports books. The author of 39 of them including “New York City Baseball,1947-1957″ and “Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball”. His “Remembering Yankee Stadium: An Oral and Narrative History of the House that Ruth Built” (Abrams, Stewart, Tabori and Chang) will be published in 2008 as well as a reprint version of his “Shoeless Joe and Ragtime
REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM (The Definitive Book)
Fall 2008 (Abrams, STC) http://baseballguru.com/hfrommer/analysishfrommer50.html
Call for Fenway Memories - now working on "Remembering Fenway Park" - will feature stories– first game attended, marker moments, odd events, tales of a special player at the Fens, architectural features... Please contact me by e-mail if you have something to contribute. Harvey
Frommer sports books are available direct from the author - discounted and autographed. FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in excess of one million and appears on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.