Friday, October 16, 2009

The Book Review: “100 Ranger Greats” and Other Worthies

Many sports books keep coming down the pike, some worthy, some not so worthy, all with some interest to both the casual fan and also to the serious sports maven. A recent crop of sports tomes has much merit.

Leading off the list is “100 Ranger Greats” (Wiley, $34.95, 240 pages) by the trio of Russ Cohen, John Halligan and Adam Raider. Cohen, a die-hard hockey fan and a toomler in the world of sports on XM Satellite radio, his Internet sites, and a regular contributor to and “Goalie news” magazine. This track record stood him and the others well.

One might quibble about some of the choices and their order of selection in “100 Ranger Greats”. But one cannot quibble about the excellence of photography, layout and writing and research that went into this terrific, over-sized tome. If you are a fan of the NY Rangers – go for this coffee table delight that features superstars, unsung heroes and colorful characters.

“Shooting Stars” by Lebron James and Buzz Bissinger (Penguin, $26.95, 352 pages) is getting all kinds of media play and deservedly so. And if you think you have been over-exposed to the Cleveland Cavs legend - -there is more to know and learn in the pages of this carefully crafted book that goes back (not so many years ago) to the high school years and Lebron’s movement from boyhood to manhood. The leader of tough, gritty kids from Akron, James back then melded them into a “band of brothers” on and off the basketball court.

“Our Boys” by Joe Drape (Times Books, Henry Holt, $25.00, 266 pages) is a kind of echo of “Shooting Stars” dealing as it does with adolescent athletes – this time with the football team in Smith center, Kansas, winner of 67 games in a row, the nation’s longest high school winning streak. It is a wonderful read, painting as it does, a portrait of the Redmen team and coach Barta and his staff and the town that stood up for its young men.

INSPIRATIONAL “The Original Curse” `by Sean Deveney ( McGraw-Hill, $24.95, 242 pages) is old news made new again under the skillful researching and writing of the “Sporting News” reporter. Set in the war year of 1918, focused on the Red Sox of Babe Ruth and the Chicago Cubs and the World Series and the corruption and gambling of the time – this is a page turner.

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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