Thursday, May 13, 2010
SPORTS BOOK REVIEW: The T206 Collection and other Sporting Reads
If you are into baseball cards and into beautiful baseball books,the T206 Collection by Tom Zappala, et al (Peter E. Randall Publisher, $38.00, 203 pages, oversized) is one tome terrific you should check out. The legendary T206 set of cards is all yours for the grazing, studying, in this remarkable book that tells the stories, sad and soaring, of the players in Tobacco Trust’s ‘white border’ set.
SPECIAL INTEREST: “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu”($15.00) by the 28-year-old John Updike in a special 50th anniversary deluxe collector’s edition is the account of Ted Williams and his final at bat at Fenway Park. The little book contains an autobiographical preface and a substantial afterword prepared by Updike just months before his death.
Nice sports books from Clerisy Press are available for your reading pleasure – all from the prolific John Snyder. “365 Odd Ball Days in Chicago Cubs History” and “365 Odd Ball Days in Los Angeles Dodgers History” are both in paper, both 377 pages and both priced at $14.95. If you are into baseball trivia/nostalgia - -these tomes are for you. “Angels Journal” and “Twins Journal” (($29.95, 448 pages) cover year by year and day by day with the franchises since 1961.
Another look at Mr. October? Yes, that’s what Dayn Perry (Morrow, $25.99, 326 pages) serves up in “Reggie Jackson.” Perry points out that both Reggie and his agent were uncooperative in the project but there was plenty of help from print, internet and interview sources. The book is billed as the first full tome on the old showhorse in a quarter century.
Flip Bondy’s “Chasing the Game” (Da Capo, $25.00, 312 pages) is highly recommended for soccer zealots as in depth and with accuracy it documents the American quest for the World Cup. Most interesting are the ups and downs of the USA in World Cup clashes.
From Pantheon we have “The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron,” by Howard Bryant ( $29.95, 600 pages). The author’s master work previously was “Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston.” This book with all its depth, insights, passion, and heart is now Bryant’s master work providing as it does a full portrait of a baseball legend who never seemed to come out from behind the mask and the headlines.
BACKLIST GEMS: “Early Innings” and “Middle Innings” edited by Dean A. Sullivan (Bison Books, paper) are documentary histories of baseball, one from 1825-1908 and the other from 1900-1948, told from the viewpoint of primary writings, many from unexpected sources, all serving up insights and sidebars to many aspects of the richness of our national pastime.
Fascinating “Tennis and Philosophy” edited by David Baggett (University Press of Kentucky, $35.00, 294 pages) is as its sub-title proclaims about “what the racket is all about” told from the perspective of scholars, philosophers, writers. An interesting read.
Dr. Harvey Frommer is in his 34th consecutive year of writing sports books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 41 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.
FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.