Frommer on Sports
"Baseball Bits" and other August
reads . . .
"Baseball Bits" by Dan Schlossberg
(Alpha/Penguin Group, $16.95, 253 pages) is a home run of a book dealing
with as it does in an interesting, highly organized manner all kinds of
facts, stats, trivia about the national pastime. The prolific
Schlossberg , author now of 33 baseball books and more than 25,000
articles about the sport produced in an almost 40-year career, hasn't
lost a step. Go for his newest.
We learn all kinds of things thumbing through the
pages of this tome: Ken Griffey and son Jr. were the only father-son
to go back to back with homers; the original lighting system for
night baseball in Cincinnati cost $55,000; when Fenway was re-sodded
in 1967, Carl Yastrzemski was able to have the bluegrass removed
from left field to his lawn in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. These and
other nuggets are all over "Baseball Bits." HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
"Crazy Good" by Charles Leerhsen (Simon & Schuster,
$26.00, 368 pages) evokes another time, another America, one that
existed at the turn at the 20th century. It is about a real hero of
that era - not Ty Cobb who made $12,000 in salary but Dan Patch (a
horse) who made over a million dollars. Leerhsen skillfully weaves
time and place and the world of the pacer, one that Dan Patch
dominated. This is a "crazy good" read.
Mike Lupica, the storied New York Daily News
columnist, is at it again in his other life as best-selling author
of sports books for young readers. Coming soon from Penguin - -
"Comeback Kids: "Safe at Home" and "Long Shot."
And for you fans of the Amazin's there are books
right up your alley: "Mets By The Numbers by Joel Springer and
Matthew Silverman(Skyhorse, $14.95, 304 pages, paper) and "The New
York Mets" by Richard Grossinger (Frog, Ltd., North Atlantic Books,
$16.95, 315 pages). Both books have much merit. The
Springer/Silverman effort leaves no number unturned in this
exhaustive study of the history (by uniform number) of the team from
Flushing. The Grossinger effort serves up essays on what it has been
like through the years to root for the Mets through good times and
bad ones. The book has an attitude about it just as the Mets have
From Welcome Books (Insight Editions) comes a welcome
book especially for fans of the team - - "San Francisco Giants: 50
Years" by Brian Murphy. Priced at $50.00 with hundreds of over-sized
pages, this is lush, lavish, loving tribute to the team, its players
and fans and management. With a foreword by Danny Glover and an
afterword by Willie Mays, what could be better. This is a
collectible worth collecting.
With the football season soon gearing up there is
"Pro Football Prospectus: 2008 by Aaron Schatz (Plume, $21.95, 409
pages). If you want all you need to know about the pro grid game
this is the tome for you.
Another book of interest in a similar vein is "The
Football Uncyclopedia" by Michael Kun and Adam Hof (Clerisy Press,
$15.95, 272 pages). The book is billed as "a highly opinionated
myth-busting guide to America' game." It is not quite that but it
is very interesting reading and rummaging.
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