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Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

Spring Baseball Books Part II: "Under The March Sun," "Becoming Manny," "As They See 'Em," "Hardball Times Season Preview 2009"

All sizes, all shapes and for all tastes and budgets the spring 2009 parade of books about different aspects of the national pastime keep coming. Some are from famous authors and major publishers with some advertsing and marketing muscle behind them. Others are by first time orf little known authors from mid-level or small houses. All have something to offer especially if you are a baseball fan.

"Definitive, fascinating, a groundbreaking cultural and sports history of spring training from humble origins to megamillion status today. A winner." Those are the words I used to blurb "Under The March Sun" by Charles Fountain (Oxford University Press ($24.95, 336 pages) when I first came into contact with the work before it was an actual book. I feel the same way about it now. Fountain has created a fountainhead of work from the phenomenon's origins in the 19th century to the present - this is a home run of a book filled with anecdotes, facts, facets bound to illuminate and entertain. I write this from the Ft. Meyers region as I get set to interview for my book in progress REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK and am experiencing the spring training phenomenon that Fountain wrote about.

"Becoming Manny" is the effort of Dr. Jean Rhodes, the world's leading expert on youth mentoring and a professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and Shawn Boburg, a reporter at the Record in New Jersey. Published by Scribner, priced at $25.00, 304 pages - this carefully crafted work - - the result of access to Manny Ramirez and his family, friends, teammates and handlers is fascinating stuff about the man many view as the Greta Garbo of
baseball. What you see is often not what you get. In the crass and common world of gee whiz biographies, this combo bio and autobiography reveals much about a gifted and sensitive athlete and the world he lives in. Its sub-title proclaims: "Inside the Life of Baseball's Most Enigmatic Slugger" and that it is. NOTABLE!

"As They See 'Em,"( Scribner, $26.00, 352 pages) is an inside book compiled by author Bruce Weber after talking with about one third of the umpires who plied their tough trade 2006-2008 - - and that is only part of this effort. Weber, who has been with The New York Times in various roles since the mid 1980s, reveals a journalist's curiosity and a fan's zeal as he ranges far and wide over issues, icons, irrirtations and insights. If the wide world of umpires is your dish - this is the book for you.

"Hardball Times Season Preview 2009" (Acta Sports, $19.95, 296 pages) is a bargain for all it has to offer. A think tank of analyses, graphs, stats, essays, projection and commentaries for over a thousand players and all 30 MLB teams - this is a mother and father lode of all stuff baseball for the new
season.

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You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

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.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
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on the Web: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~frommer

Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .
 

Other Frommer sports related articles can be found at:   

Harvey 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. 

This Article is Copyright 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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