Big Game, Small World
Frommer on Sports
Every once in
a while a book like this comes along – one that you read and place on a
prominent place on your bookshelf. “Big Game, Small World” by Alexander
Wolff (Warner, $24.95, 424 pages) is a keeper – especially for basketball
fans. Part travelogue, part cultural guide, all entrancing sports writing.
Wolff’s thesis is that the game invented in
Springfield, Massachusetts by James Naismith has a pull all over the world
from school children in China to those running for president, through 16
nations and ten states in America – “Big Game, Small World” unravels as
its sub-title states as a basketball adventure. As I said, this book is a
“On the Sweet Spot” by Richard Keefe (Simon and
Schuster 25.00, 288 pages) is by a clinical psychologist, the Director of
Sports Psychology at Duke University
The book carefully traces the linkage between top
athletic performance and higher awareness – probes the source of
excellence that we all have.
“On the Sweet Spot” is thought provoking, filled with
concrete techniques to assist amateurs to attain the right athletic state
of mind. “Playing in the zone,” accomplishing something magical has
happened to athletes like Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods, Mark McGwire, Michael
Jordan - - “On the Sweet Spot” tries to show us how to get a little closer
to what they have attained.
In words and pictures -
-the phenomenon of spring training and its grip on fans and players is
evoked in Dan Shaughnessy’s new book. With photos by Pulitzer Prize
winning photojournalist Stan Grossfeld “Spring Training” (Houghton
Mifflin, $28.00, 192 pages) ranges from Alligator Alley to Cactus Way,
from Florida to Arizona. A special section of spring training memories by
such as Johnny Pesky, Reggie Jackson, Dom DiMaggio, Frank Robinson and
Stephen King gives the book a personalized and authentic dimension that it
needs. This is a book to hold close to you – and think – can the season be
The book begins with a very interesting foreword from
Cal Ripken, Jr. and then goes on through fabulous pictures and words to
bring spring training past, present and future front and center.
Venerable BoSox legend Johnny Pesky, as usual, has
some of the best words: “I still like to work out…in spring training. I
get a little sore now and then, because I still think I’m twenty-five
years old and I’m not. But that’s what spring training does. It makes you
believe you are young all over again.”
Still on a Red Sox theme, part of the Images of
Baseball series from Arcadia Publishers, “The Pawtucket Red Sox” by David
Borges ($19.99, paper, 128 pages) is a beautifully put together book. The
focus on one of the most successful of minor league teams – from its
beginnings as a Double-A holding of Boston to its elevated status as a
Triple-A farm team in 1973 - makes for interesting reading and viewing via
more than 200 photographs. Before most of the baseball world even heard
about them – players like Mo Vaughn, Nomar Garciaparra, Roger Clemens,
Wade Boggs and Carlton Fisk, all made their make as PawSoxers.
Team histories have long been the focus of baseball
writing. One of the classics in this genre is “The New York Giants” by
Frank Graham first published in 1952. Now re-issued with a foreword by Ray
Robinson by Southern Illinois University Press (308 pages, paper), the
book’s sub-title is “An Informal History of a Great Baseball Club.”
Coming in April: “Game Time A Baseball Companion” by
Roger Angell (Harcourt, $25.00, 356 pages) a collection of his own
favorite pieces on the game.
Harvey Frommer is the author of 33 sports books,
including "The New York Yankee Encyclopedia, "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime
Baseball,” and "Growing Up Baseball" with Frederic J. Frommer. His “Rickey
and Robinson: The Men Who Broke Baseball’s Color Line” (Taylor) and “A
Yankee Century: A Celebration of the First Hundred Years of Baseball’s
Greatest Team” (Berkley Putnam) will be published in paperback in 2003.
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
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.
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