A sure sign of the baseball off-season is all of the moves – intelligent and ridiculous that take place. Case in point ESPN’s removal of two Hall of Fame broadcasters – Joe Morgan and Jon Miller. With all the C- types calling and analyzing sporting events in abundance (even on ESPN) Miller and Morgan were A+. Experienced, insightful, easy to love. Sunday nights during the baseball season will not be the same without them.
But we still have the worthy Bill James plying his trade. The newest “Bill James Handbook” (Acta Sports, $24.95, 500 pages plus, paper) is the essential annual wrap on all things baseball. James delivers the Fielding Bible award, Baseball Park indices, hitter and pitcher projections. A mother lode of national pastime material – go for it.
From Skyhorse Publishing comes yet another book on the old Yankee Stadium – “Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories” edited by Alex Belth ($19.95, 232 pages) with many of the usual suspects recounting their fav “House That Ruth Built” memories.
Still is a Yankee frame of mind is “Perfect” by Lew Paper (NAL, trade paperback reprint, $15.00, 421 pages). Larsen’s gem lives again in these pages.
“Rise of a Dynasty” ($24.95,293 pages) is another worthy from NAL. Penned by the esteemed Bill Reynolds, its focus is on the winning of the first banner by the 1957 Boston Celtics. Rewarding reading.
“The Greatest Game” by Todd Denault (McClelland and Stewart, $29.99, 336 pages) is nostalgic sports history at its best - -December 31, 1975, the Montreal Canadiens at the top o their game then matched against the touring Central Red Army team, most powerful entry from Russia. The game ended in a 3-3 tie, but more important triggered hockey’s global expansion. Must Read
For those with an interest in football (soccer), for those with an interest in a well told tale, “Carlo Ancelotti” by “Carlo Ancelotti” with Alessandro Alciato (Rizzoli New York, $25.00, 264 pages, 35 photographs) fits the bill. The former star player, the famed coach of top teams in Italy and England, the outspoken Ancelotti touches all bases in this illuminating autobiography. There is something to learn on each page about “the beautiful game” and the man some call “the ordinary genius.” TOP DRAWER
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.
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