Frommer on Sports
The Book Review: "Torre,"
"A-Rod," "Yogi" and "Munson"
Yankee legends past and present are well represented
by publishers this spring. For somewhat more than a hundred dollars
a quartette of works focused on Joe Torre, Alex Rodriguez ,Yogi
Berra and Thurman Munson are there for the buying and taking away.
If you are a die-hard fan of the Bronx Bombers these books will
have a fatal attraction.
"The Yankee Years" by Torre and Tom Verducci
(Doubleday, $26.95, 502 pages) is a mother lode of info - a lot of
it previously in newspapers, magazines, other books and on the
internet. The book's major focus is on the time Joe Torre took over
as manager until he was given an offer he could refuse and moved on
to pilot the LA Dodgers. Gossip, glory, grievance all intermingle.
"A Rod" by Selena Roberts (Harper,$26.99, 272
pages) has a bit more finesse and full disclosure to it than Torre's
tome and all credit goes to the author for that whether or not Alex
Rodriguez was amused or bemused by what she has written. But we walk
away after reading about the multi--talented athlete and tortured
human being, after reading about his over the top hedonism, his on
and off again drug use, his foibles and fakery - - asking do we
really care? Just another greedy and disjointed talent afflicted by
too much, too soon!
Allen Barra's "Yogi Berra Eternal Yankee" (Norton,
$27.95, 98 photographs, 451 pages) is a page turner. Filled with
anecdotes and insights, filled with the long run of Lawrence Peter
Berra from the hill in St. Louis to the top of the world as Yankee
icon and baseball fable, "Yogi Berra Eternal Yankee" written by no
relation Allen Barra -- is the guy to turn around a Mickey Mantle
phrase - -who makes Berra more than human. We see him warts and all
in this carefully crafted treatment. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
"Munson:The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain" by Marty Appel
(Doubleday, $26.00, 375 pages) is a labor of love and a love of
labor, creating as it does an intimate portrait of one of the most
under-rated and complex of Yankees. It was thirty years ago that the
multi-talented Appel teamed with the Yankee catcher on his
autobiography. Now "Munson:The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain"
offers closure and climax to that tome and loads of insights and
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