Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Book Review: “Torre,” “A-Rod,” “Yogi” and “Munson”
Yankee legends past and present are well represented by publishers this spring. For somewhat more than a hundred dollars a quartette of works focused on Joe Torre, Alex Rodriguez ,Yogi Berra and Thurman Munson are there for the buying and taking away. If you are a die-hard fan of the Bronx Bombers – these books will have a fatal attraction.
“The Yankee Years” by Torre and Tom Verducci (Doubleday, $26.95, 502 pages) is a mother lode of info - a lot of it previously in newspapers, magazines, other books and on the internet. The book’s major focus is on the time Joe Torre took over as manager until he was given an offer he could refuse and moved on to pilot the LA Dodgers. Gossip, glory, grievance all intermingle.
“A – Rod” by Selena Roberts (Harper,$26.99, 272 pages) has a bit more finesse and full disclosure to it than Torre’s tome and all credit goes to the author for that whether or not Alex Rodriguez was amused or bemused by what she has written. But we walk away after reading about the multi--talented athlete and tortured human being, after reading about his over the top hedonism, his on and off again drug use, his foibles and fakery - - asking do we really care? Just another greedy and disjointed talent afflicted by too much, too soon!
Allen Barra’s “Yogi Berra Eternal Yankee” (Norton, $27.95, 98 photographs, 451 pages) is a page turner. Filled with anecdotes and insights, filled with the long run of Lawrence Peter Berra from the hill in St. Louis to the top of the world as Yankee icon and baseball fable, “Yogi Berra Eternal Yankee” written by no relation Allen Barra -- is the guy to turn around a Mickey Mantle phrase - -who makes Berra more than human. We see him warts and all in this carefully crafted treatment. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
“Munson:The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain” by Marty Appel (Doubleday, $26.00, 375 pages) is a labor of love and a love of labor, creating as it does an intimate portrait of one of the most under-rated and complex of Yankees. It was thirty years ago that the multi-talented Appel teamed with the Yankee catcher on his autobiography. Now “Munson:The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain” offers closure and climax to that tome and loads of insights and tales.
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.