Sunday, February 22, 2009
THE BOOK REVIEW: Spring Baseball Books Part I: Baseball Prospectus 2009, Diamond Gems, Baseball Dictionary, The Big Field
With spring training underway another sure sign that the 2009 baseball season will soon be with us is the deluge of new books focused on all manner of different facets of the national pastime. There is something out there for every taste, every budget.
"Baseball Prospectus 2009" is a mother and father lode of information for even the most crazed of stat guys. Now in its 14th season, this oversized paperback (Plume Original, $21.95, 628 pages) presents a Hall of Fame group of analysts analyzing all kinds of things connected to the summer game. Sagacious, smart, this book belongs on the top of your baseball buy list.
"Diamond Gems" edited by Tim McCarver with Jim Moskovitz and Danny Peary (McGraw Hill, $24.95, 270 pages is essentially a book that was more than decade in the making and includes a vault of material from "The Tim McCarver Show." There is Willie Mays on "the Catch," Yogi Berra on war and baseball, Sandy Koufax on his quest to add a third pitch. It is neatly organized by position - the "lefties" for example - contains Warren Spahn, Whitey Ford, Sandy Koufax, Jim Kaat, Tom Glavine and Al Leiter - thinkers all. "Diamond Gems" is a gem of a baseball book.
"Baseball Dictionary" in a new life - revised and expanded by Paul Dickson weighs in at 974 pages and a hefty fifty dollar price tag from WW Norton. One quibble I do have is that two of my books "Sports Lingo" and "Sports Roots" are in the annotated bibliography. But Dickson sadly missed out on my terrific tome - THE SPORTS JUNKIES BOOK OF TRIVIA, TERMS, AND LINGO" --What They Are, Where They Came From, and How They Are Used. Otherwise, this is deep, definitive, daunting - a thesaurus of all things baseball.
Now in paperback reprint is Mike Lupica's "The Big Field" (Plume, 272 pages, $7.99) recommended for ages 10 and up - the story of Keith "Hutch" Hutchinson and his relationship with father, a former boy phenomenon.
HIGHLY NOTABLE: "High and Inside: My Life in the Front offices of Baseball" by Lou Gorman (McFarland, 226 pages) is to be up close and personal with a man who has spent almost a half century in pro baseball and who is now an executive consultant for the Boston Red Sox. This is a man who drafted Roger Clemens, signed George Brett , developed Jim Palmer. This is a man who knows his way around a story and can tell it in detail, with humor and insight. "High and Inside" is a work that belongs on the bookshelf of every baseball fan - there's a lot to learn from an expert on the national pastime.
Harvey Frommer is his 33rd consecutive year of writing sports books. The author of 40 of them including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his highly acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM, an oral/narrative history (Abrams, Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was published in 2008 as well as a reprint version of his classic "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball."
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.