Sunday, June 27, 2010
The Book Review: "Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Robert" & "Blows To The Head" and more
A very important yet not too well documented corner of baseball history - - interracial baseball prior to the arrival of Jackie Robinson on the scene is the subject matter of "Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Robert" by Timothy Gay (Simon & Schuster, $26.00,349 pages).
We are there with Leroy "Satchel" Paige, Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean and Robert William Andrew "Bob" Feller. We are there in the barnstorming and amidst Jim Crow, there for the elation and joy and humor and also for the degradation, hurt and racism. There are many never before told stories in this well researched and important tome.
"Blows To The Head" is a slim but fascinating and virtually inspirational story by Binnie Klein (Suny Press, $19.95, 195 pages) all about as the book's sub-title proclaims "how boxing changed my mind." The prime focus of this appealing narrative is how in the mid 1950s the author, a Jewish psychotherapist, became interweaved with boxing and in the process discovered so much about her roots. A KNOCKOUT OF A BOOK
Back in the day there was arrogant and in-your-face Charlie Finley, possessor of hype, hoopla and histrionics. He was the owner who moved his team from KC to Oakland, winning three straight division titles, three World Series, developing such players as Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers and more. "Charlie Finley" by G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius,(Walker,)$27.00, 336 pages) could have used some tighter editing and perhaps 75 less pages; nevertheless, it brings back a time, a place and one of baseball history's more zany characters.
Douglas J. Gladstone's slim paperback "A Bitter Cup of Coffee (Word Association, $18.00, 192 pages) is a carefully researched look at how MLB and the Players Association and the vexing issue of 874 players who played in the Majors for that proverbial "cup of coffee" and never were retroactively included in amended vesting requirements.
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.