"Pride of October" -
Bill Madden's Gem
Frommer on Sports
The formula was simple. Find and interview 17 ex-Yankees and one Yankee
wife and mine their memories of what it was like to be young and a Yankee.
That was the task (joy) veteran sports writer Bill Madden set for himself
for his book "Pride of October" (Warner, $24.95, 398 pages).
His collection of interviewees includes: Phil Rizzuto, Marius Russo, Tommy
Byrne, Yogi Berra, Charlie Silvera, Jerry Coleman, Whitey Ford, Arlene
Howard, Ralph Houk, Mel Stottlemyre, Bobby Richardson, Joe Pepitone, Ron
Blomberg, Bobby Murcer, Lou Piniella, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly and
Paul O'Neill. An imposing, talkative and interesting list.
The result is a broad brushed canvas of stories and perceptions about what
it like to be young and playing ball for the greatest franchise in sports
history - the New York Yankees. Madden, a "New York Daily News" columnist,
has covered the Yankees for more than a quarter century. That experience
shines through in this book - one of his best efforts ever.
"Tales From the Phillies Dugout" by Rich Wescott (Sports Publishing,
$19.95, 205 pages) is as its sub-title claims: "A Collection of the
Greatest Philadelphia Phillies Stories Ever Told." Wescott has more than
40 years experience as baseball writer and was publisher and editor of "Phillies
Report." He brings that background to bear on the pages of this slim but
Over-sized, lavishly illustrated with over 200 photographs, "Baseball's
Book of Firsts" by Lloyd Johnson (Running Press Publishers, $19.98, 176
pages) is perfect for reference, for browsing, for learning a good deal
more about baseball history. "Firsts" include the first batter to hit
.400, the first hot dogs, seventh inning stretch, first ballpark with
synthetic turf, first Ladies Day, the first player and catcher to wear
shin guards. And there is more, much more told clearly and concisely by
Johnson, the former president and executive director of the Society for
American Baseball Research.
From Northeastern University Press comes two highly readable baseball
books - "Ted Williams" edited by Lawrence Baldassaro ($20.00, 250 pages)
And "The First World Series and the Baseball Fanatics of 1903" by Roger L.
Abrams ($26.95, 196 pages). The former is a collection of writings about
Ted Williams and some nifty photographs of the "Splendid Splinter." The
latter has its focus the first World Series played between the Boston
Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Games were played at the Huntington
Avenue Grounds in Boston - "the Athens of America" and at Pittsburgh
"When Boston Won the World Series" by Bob Ryan (Running Press, $18.95, 192
pages) is a wonderful complement to "The First World Series and the
Baseball Fanatics of 1903." Ryan's effort, beautifully packaged and
nicely illustrated is like a time machine taking us back to one of the
finest moments in Beantown sports history.
Speaking of Beantown - "Best Bet in Beantown" by G.S. Rowe (Pocol Press,
paper, $17.95) is a bit of a pricey product. It is set in 1897 in Boston.
It is a mystery by an author who teaches a class on the history of
baseball at the University of Northern Colorado.
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
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Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth
College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage
in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
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