Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Book Review: “Bottom of the Ninth” by Michael Shapiro and other Reads

If you like an untold story, and who of us does not, and if you are even a little bit of a sports junky than “Bottom of the Ninth” by Michael Shapiro ( Times Books, $26.00, 303 pages) belongs on your reading list. It is as its sub-title proclaims about Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball From Itself.

Shapiro, author of “The Last Good Season,” is in top form breaking new ground and providing new awarenesses of a little reported on chapter in American sports history – the aborted attempt by Branch Rickey to create the Continental League and Casey Stengel’s yen to remake the ways in which the national pastime was played. A good read.

“Crystal Clear” by Eric Le Marque with Davin Seay (Delacorte, $24.00, 256 pages) is the remarkable story of the author’s attempt to snowboard California’s Mammoth Mountain. Trapped by an approaching storm, he survived in sub freezing temperatures for 8 days but at a cost – he would lose both legs below the knees through frostbite. This is the story of a true “Miracle Man.”
“The Unwritten Rules of Baseball” by Paul Dickson (Harper, 256 pages, $14.95, paper) is an interesting reference read on the sub-text of the national pastime.

“The Baltimore Elite Giants” by Bob Luke (Johns Hopkins University Press, 192 pages) is a raising of consciousness about one of the legendary teams from the old Negro Leagues.

From “MR. RED SOX BOOKS” - Bill Nowlin - comes another couple of winners edited by him - - “The Ultimate Red Sox Home Run Guide” (Rounder Books, $18.95, 192 pages, paper) and “Lefty, Double-X and The Kid,” (Rounder Books, $18.95, 165 pages, paper). The former book is chock full of relevant, irreverent and very informative data on circuit clouts and their place in BoSox legend, lore and fact. The latter book is all one would want to know (and some things one might not want to know) about the Boston Red Sox of 1939. Both books HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for Red Sox fans.

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 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." The prolific Frommer is at work on REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK (2010).

Frommer sports books are available direct from the author - discounted and autographed.
FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.

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