Books on Ballparks
and Other Baseball Matters
Frommer on Sports
Ballparks: Then and Now by Eric Enders (Thunder Bay Press, 160 pages)
and Take Me Out to the Ballparks by Josh Leventhal (Black Dog and
Leventhal Publishers, 128 pages) in words and pictures, charts and stats
provide a treasure chest of all kinds of information and insights as
regards ballparks - major, minor, past and present.
The book by Enders takes a city by city look from Anaheim to
Washington, D.C. of major league playing fields. The lifelong Dodger fan
and baseball historian profiles each "field of dreams" with photos,
narrative and boxed data. The Wrigley Field entry, for example, makes note
of the fact that it opened on April 23,1914 and was known as Weegham Park
(1914-1915), Cubs Park (19216-1925. A "Greatest Moment" is included for
Wrigley and all the other field Enders looks at.
Take Me Out to the Ballparks is over-sized and odd sized. It is also more
inclusive than Ballparks: Then and Now. Leventhal includes hundreds of
color photos and drawings, stats of each stadium, and in his phrase "hot
dogs, mascots, scorecards and much more." Each look at a ballpark also
contains records and milestones, firsts, facts and figures. This is a book
to keep for references and for browsing.
A scholarly look at one of the more infamous chapters in baseball history
is Saying It's So: A Cultural History of the Black Sox Scandal by Daniel
A. Nathan (University of Illinois Press, 285 pages). As the author of
Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball, I had a special interest in reading
this book. It didn't disappoint, surveying as it did, how the scandal was
remembered by journalists, historians, filmmakers, novelists and baseball
fans. My book was even accurately quoted.
For those with an interest in stats, Leveling the Field by G. Scott Thomas
(Black Dog and Leventhal, 555 pages) and The Complete Chicago Cubs by
Derek Gentile, an award winning reporter for the Berkshire Eagle (Black
Dog and Leventhal, 687 pages) are a couple of books to read and then rest
on your baseball bookshelf. The latter has all manner of material related
to the Cubbies and is a "must have" book for fans of the team. Leveling
the Field is an encyclopedia of baseball's all time great performances as
revealed through adjusted statistics. So if you interested in comparison
and contrasts as arrived at through computer-generated formulas - this is
the book to own.
Southern Illinois Press has come out with re-issues of two old classics
written by Frank Graham: The Brooklyn Dodgers and The New York Yankees.
The Dodger book was first published in 1945 and covers "Dem Bums" from
1883-1943. The Yankee book traces Bronx Bomber history from its beginnings
in 1903 to the 1943 World Series. To read these books is to be placed in a
time warp, but a lovely time warp.
# # #
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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