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Book Tells the Tale of Fenway   

by Harvey Frommer

Harvey Frommer - Click to Enlarge

Fenway Park has not only served as the home of the Boston Red Sox, but it is one of baseball's few remaining treasures. It has stood the test of time, and given millions of baseball fans long-lasting memories.

The first major league game at Fenway Park was played on April 20, 1912, just a few days after the Titanic sunk. The first ceremonial ball was thrown out by then-Boston Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, the grandfather to be of John F. Kennedy.

Built at a cost of just $650,000 Fenway Park, according to author Dan Shaughnessy, is today as it has always been, "A friendly neighborhood joint, the corner bar of American sports palaces."

Shaughnessy, a Boston Globe sportswriter and an award winner many times over, is the author or several books including "The Curse of the Bambino." His latest work, "Fenway A Biography in Words and Pictures," stands as a tribute to beautiful Fenway Park.

"Fenway A Biography in Words and Pictures" is a loving tribute to the legends who have played at Fenway, the fans who have cheered there, and the city of Boston which has supported the little ballpark since the doors were opened in 1912.

The book also celebrates the people of Boston, the workers at the Fens like the scorekeepers who have worked the hand-operated board, and the street vendors who peddle their stuff outside the park.

The second oldest (and soon to be the oldest) ballpark in the major leagues - the last of the single-deck theaters - Fenway Park has inspired more enduring praise and outspoken criticism than any American sports arena in history. The Green Monster in left field where Ted Williams, Yaz, and Jim Rice patrolled, the lone red seat that marks Ted Williams's record-setting longest home run hit there, the hand-operated scoreboard at the base of the Wall, the luxury "600 Club" with the press box perched high above, and the Hall of Fame faces make Fenway unique.

          Some of that uniqueness comes through in Stan Grossfeld's prize-winning color photography, which also appears in this book. Fenway comes across in all seasons from all vantage points. We are able to see what a home run looks like from a blimp, and what the field looks like viewed from the dugout.

Celebrity interviews give the book a special touch of class. It is very interesting to get the Fenway perspectives of David Halberstram, Stephen King, Bob Costas, Don Zimmer, George Steinbrenner, Carl Yastrzemski, George Will, Bud Selig, Jim Palmer, James Earl Jones, Dennis Eckersley, Bucky Dent, Ken Burns and Doris Kearns Goodwin. And fittingly, Ted Williams pens the foreword.

Dan Shaughnessy notes: "When they raze Fenway, it'll be like cutting down an old tree. Count the rings. There's one for each celebration and heartache suffered by Red Sox' fans."

One of the last major league parks that still features organ music between innings and before and after games, Fenway harkens back to another time, another America. It is just wonderful that this book was written. It is a keepsake all baseball fans.

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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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