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"Baseball" is Pure Entertainment

Harvey Frommer's Sports Book Review

by Harvey Frommer

Harvey Frommer - Click to Enlarge          

With a foreword by Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and contributions from Joseph Wallace, Neil A. Hamilton and Mart Appel - "Baseball: 100 Classic Moments in the History of the Game" - is a book to buy, to brag about, to keep as part of your sports library.

Priced at $30.00, this 320-page gem from Dorling Kindersley Publishing in New York City is an over-sized and beautifully illustrated (over 400 photographs) work.

The book is based upon a 1997 photographic exhibit created by the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. There is historical detail, statistical tables and a very thorough index of players, teams and events.

"Baseball" brings the game and its legendary times to life. “Baseball” is organized into five eras: 1900-1919: A Sport and a Scandal; 1920-1941: The Home Run Saves the Game; 1942-1960: The War and Post-War Period; 1961-1974: Expansion; and 1975-1999.

We are there as Cy Young notches his 500th win on July 19, 1910, as Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sells Babe Ruth to the Yankees as Joe DiMaggio hits in 56 straight games in 1941 and Ted Williams bats .406 as Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson break the color line in 1947 as Cal Ripken in September 1995 breaks Lou Gehrig's consecutive games played record as Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa re-write the record book for home runs in a season.

"Shoeless Joe" Jackson and the Miracle Mets of 1969 and Charlie Hustle and Say Hey and Rapid Robert and the Ryan Express and the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, who finally beat the Yankees in the World Series ... all the verve of these and other markers of the national pastime are on display in this wonder of a book.

My favorite section is the one labeled "715" - the one focused on the man whose name leads the alphabetical list of all those who have ever played the game of baseball - Henry Louis Aaron. He is also the all-time leader in home runs and runs batted in and that is what his section is all about.

"Baseball: 100 Classic Moments in the History of the Game," the book's preface begins, "was born from a photographic exhibit that the Hall of Fame created in 1997. Our idea was to present the story of baseball through a series of memorable moments and to illustrate those moments in photographs. Our hope is that BASEBALL will offer an enduring record of the history of the game and a timeless keepsake for baseball enthusiasts to enjoy."

That hope has really been realized in the words, the pictures and even the info bites (longest hitting streaks, multiple no-hit pitchers, single-season home run records, triple crown hitters, first black player on each team, the first five players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame,) etc., etc.

Bookends: "Good Enough to Dream" by Roger Kahn (Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press, $15.95) is a paperback re-issue with a new afterword by the author. And from the same publisher comes "Baseball America's Diamond Mine" by Richard C. Crepeau ($13.95, 232 pages). Originally published in 1980, this re-issue focuses on the interrelationship of the development of baseball and society during the Golden Age of Sport.

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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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