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The Evangelist of Golf, The Story of Charles Blair Macdonald

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

          
An icon in the world of golf, Charles Blair Macdonald was key in  establishing the United States Golf Association and also brought into being some of the great gold course designs in America.      The Evangelist of Golf by George Bahto (Clock Tower Press, $85.00,280 pages) is the story of the man and his work. Lavishly illustrated with color and black and white photographs and designs, carefully written, the book is both a history of a life's work and of golf's rise to prominence in the U.S. If golf is your game - you've got to own this book or give it as a gift.

Discovering  Donald Ross by Bradley S. Klein  (Sleeping Bear Press, $85.00, 367 pages) is a similar type book to The Evangelist of Golf. It traces carefully and lovingly in words and pictures in a big format book the career and accomplishments of golf course architect Donald J. Ross from the early 1900s to the 1940s. This is another "must have book" for the golf enthusiast.

The price is right and the project is just superb.  The Golden Voices of Baseball  by Ted Patterson ($39.95, 200 pages. Sports Publishing L.L.C.) including two audio CD's is a sports fans dream. In words, pictures and sound Mel Allen, Curt Gowdy, Harry Wismer, Red Barber, Jack Buck, Harry Caray, Russ Hodges, Byrum Saam and many others come back to us. This is the baseball nostalgic trip of all baseball nostalgia trips.

The Golden Voices of Baseball  is many things. It is a primer on whose these announcers were, a history of baseball on the radio, a unique view and an even more unique hearing of the national pastime. 

We are there listening to Russ Hodges and "THERE'S A LONG DRIVE, I BELIEVE...THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT, THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT, THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT, THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT."  
         
We are there for Mel Allen's storied game accounts and his "How About That!"  We are there enjoying baseball history page after page in one of the more impressive baseball books in years.             

Speaking about impressive baseball books - Sandy Koufax A Lefty's Legacy  by Jane Leavy (HarperCollins, $23.95, 304 pages) is one of the most impressive sports bios to come along in many a moon. Leavy, an award-winning former sportswriter and feature writer for the Washington Post, was able with the cooperation of her subject to interview about 400 people and create a broad tapestry of insights into one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. The book is highly readable, remarkable for its depth and, interesting for its sometimes quaint anecdotes.

From the University of Missouri Press comes Before They were Cardinals by Jon David Cash ($29.95, 272 pages) and Elston and Me by Arlene Howard with Ralph Wimbish ($24.95, 208 pages). Elston Howard was the first black baseball player to wear Yankee pinstripes and his wife and Wimbish bring back his time - lovingly and with passion. For those with a specific interest in major league baseball in 19th century St. Louis - the Cardinal book is the one for you. Well researched, it has all kinds of interesting information.

Robert Skead's Hitting Glory ($6.99, 119 pages, paper) is a moving story about  an 11-year-old who finds an old wooden bat in the basement of his school. That school was P.S. #132, New York City, where Lou Gehrig attended. The rest is for you to read - - and when you do - you will have a most enjoyable reading experience.

Incidentally, this is a great gift book for a youngster. 

The New York Yankees: The First 25 Years  by Vincent Luis (Arcadia Publishers, $19.99, 128 pages, paper) is part of the publisher's Images of Sports series.  A slim volume, it nevertheless is  winning entry in the growing list of books focused on the Yanks. Images are alone worth the price of admission.

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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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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