As we come closer to the start of the 2010 baseball season, teams and publishers are gearing up for big prizes. Small houses and mega publishers are all part of the competition mix. More and more sports books keep hitting the market. So let us sample some more of the mix.
“Mark and Me” by Jay McGwire (Triumph,$24.95, 208 pages is brother Jay’s story about Mark McGwire. The sub-title proclaims it is a book about “the truth behind baseball’s worst kept secret. For those who cannot get enough of steroids and the former St. Louis Cardinal slugger – this is the book for you - hashing and rehashing the scandalous and seamy stuff that was paraded all over the media. It also has the angle that is told by one brother now pitted against another. We get Jay’s take on why Mark started using, what he used, how long his habit lasted. We get a lot of stuff that goes beyond the headlines.
As for Mark McGwire reactions: “"I don't plan on ever seeing him again. Jay had to do something to try to sell a book." Mark McGwire has vowed to never read the book and to never talk to his bro Jay again.
“Baseball Comes Home” by Dan Valenti (CR Custom Publishing, $24.95, 201 pages, paper) takes a look at a silver slice of baseball history – the Baseball Hall of Fame Game that began in 1940 and had its last hurrah in 2008. With more than 150 photos and veteran Valenti’s polished prose, this tome is terrific.
Also by Dan Valenti is “Under A Grapefruit Sun” (144 pages, $20 ppd from Valenti, PO Box 1268, Stockbridge, MA 01262). Prime reading for this time of year “Under A Grapefruit Sun” is like going back in a time machine to Red Sox spring training when Valenti covered the Sox in the 1980s. Yaz, Pesky, Evans, Boggs and more in full color and in their prime. If you are a member of Red Sox Nation – this is the tome for you.
I had the pleasure of being on a couple of Ed Randall’s shows. Now I have had the pleasure of reading his “Baseball for the Utterly Confused” (McGraw-Hill, $17.95, 232 pages, paper). For those who know their way around the national pastime, this is not required reading but for all others who want to know the whys and why nots, this work belongs on your bookshelf.
Upcoming: In May - - “Are We Winning” by Will Leitch (Hyperion, $24.99, 288 pages)
Harvey Frommer is in his 34th consecutive year of writing sports books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 40 sports books 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." Frommer's newest work CELEBRATING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION is next.
HARVEY FROMMER ON SPORTS (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.