A Range of Options
Frommer on Sports
Nostalgia, contemporary happenings, biography, one team close-ups - the
range of writing on baseball is endless. Generally always interesting,
these baseball books are most times carefully conceived and executed.
Here are a few that got my attention.
"Ed Delahanty in the Emerald
Age of Baseball" by Jerrold Casway
(University of Notre Dame Press, $25.00, 352 pages) is a winner. The
title of the book comes from Delahanty's career that spanned the last
decades of the nineteenth century during a time when the sons of
post-famine Irish refugees dominated the sport. In this "Emerald Age" of
baseball, Irish-American players made up from 30 to 50 percent of all
players, managers, and team captains.
The author specializes in early modern Irish history and
nineteenth-century baseball. His work here is riveting reading, page
after page of interesting detail that evokes a time and a way of life in
America and sports. It shows how baseball for Delahanty and some other
fortunate young Irishmen was a ticket out of poverty and into a life of
fame and fortune.
"Tales From the Orioles Dugout" by Louis Berney (SportsPublishing,
$19.95, 202 pages) is entertaining stuff and especially recommended for
fans of the O's. There are stories by and about such as Jackie Brandt,
Gus Triandos, Boog Powell, Billy O'Dell, Cal Ripken, Jr., Tippy
Martinez, Rick Dempsey. Too bad Babe Ruth was left out - he was born in
Baltimore. Author Berney has done his homework and done a fine job.
From prolific and accomplished sports author Maury Allen comes "Yankees
Where Have You Gone?" (SportsPublishing $24.95, 200 pages). A a trip
down memory lane, the books visits 50 of the 1,300 players who have worn
Yankee pinstripes through the decades. Clete Boyer, Ryne Duren, Tommy
Henrich, Moose Skowron, Rom Bloomberg (the first DH), Don Baylor (Cub
manager) Dave Righetti (San Francisco pitching coach), Willie Randolph
(Yankee coach) and all the others get brief profiles of their time with
the Bronx Bombers and then updates on what they are doing now. It's a
formulaic approach, but it works. It will work especially well for
If minor league baseball is your thing than this absorbing account of
life in the Cape Cod Summer League "The Last Best League" by Jim Collins
(DaCapo Press, 288 pages, $24.00) is just the book for you. The author,
a former baseball player at Dartmouth, spends a season with Chatham's
A's, probably the most famous team in the league, a league that has
produced one out of every six major league players, from Nomar
Garciaparra and Todd Helton to Jeff Bagwell and Barry Zito.
Collins begins his book this way: "I first heard of the CAPE COD
BASEBALL LEAGUE when I was an infielder at Dartmouth College in the
early 1980s. Players didn't use the league's formal name, but rather
talked wistfully about "playing on the Cape." The book is all about
playing on the Cape and is also a wonderful slice of Americana.
# # #
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
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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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