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and Other Baseball Reads

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

Just ask any Boston Red Sox fan about taking on the Yankees. Ugh!

And now comes "Taking on the Yankees" by Henry D. Fetter (W.W. Norton, $25.95, 461 pages). The book is an in depth look at the business end of the greatest and most successful sports franchise the world has ever known. The book is an insightful account of front stage and back stage of  how the team from the Bronx has managed to win 39 pennants and 26 world championships - and still counting.
Fetter, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has practiced law for a couple of decades. He knows his stuff and trots it out in this fascinating and highly readable book.

Myths are exploded and consciousness is raised as clearly and cogently Fetter documents a century of Yankee happenings on and especially off the baseball field. Add this book now to your baseball library.

From Contemporary Books comes "Boys of October" by Doug Hornig ($24.95, 256 pages). This book focuses on the 1975 Red Sox. There are interviews with players, coaches, the usual suspects - Bill Lee, Bernie Carbo, Dwight Evans. There are no interviews with the usual selfish ones like Jim Rice and Carlton Fisk. They declined. For Red Sox Nation faithful this book will have some appeal; for the rest of us, the appeal is limited.   Game accounts go on a bit much, Hornig and his editor should know when to pull in a phrase here and there.   "Boys of October" (with apologies to Roger Kahn) is also a bit too heavy on the time -the turmoil of war, economic woes, political crises.  At times the focus of what we are reading becomes a bit blurred.

"Beyond the Shadow of the Senators" by Brad Snyder (Contemporary Books, $24.95, 418 pages) is a keeper. The work is centered on the Homestead Grays and the Integration of Baseball, as its sub-title states. The Grays played at Griffith Field in Washington, D.C. when the Senators were on the road. It was a team that featured the great Buck Leonard, a team that played against the likes of Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, a team that was an important component of the Negro Leagues. "Beyond the Shadow of the Senators" is an important and superb book that brings back baseball in black Washington. It an absorbing account of a time and place.

For all those Brooklyn Dodger fans still out there and others interested in a good baseball read - there is "The Last Good Season" by Michael Shapiro (Doubleday, $24.95, 356 pages). In the words of the book's sub-title - Shapiro's work is focused on the 1956 Dodgers and "Brooklyn, the Dodgers, and their final pennant race together."

Updated from Taylor Publishers comes "The Yankees: An Authorized History of the New York Yankees, Centennial Edition" by Phil Pepe ($26.95, 298 pages). The prolific Pepe, a man who has followed the Yankees for more than four decades, has managed to smartly enhance his previously issued winning tome.


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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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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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