With the All Star Game on the horizon and mid-summer approaching, a triple play of top baseball reads is there for the taking and the reading. From Triumph Publishers comes STRANGERS IN THE BRONX and RED SOX NATION. From Flatiron Books comes BIG DATA BASEBALL. All belong on your sports bookshelf.
STRANGERS IN THE BRONX by Andrew O’Toole ($28.95, 277 pages) could have been even better with much tighter editing, an index and an inclusion of a Harvey Frommer Yankee book or two in the bibliography.
But seriously and despite those flaws, the book is a diamond mine of data (lots re-cycled) about that long ago time of the 1951 season, Yankees, Joe DiMaggio leaving and Mickey Mantle coming. The real strength of the book is the time machine nature of a different world of baseball and sports writing. Yankees. TOP DRAWER
RED SOX NATION is the third act of the prolific and talented Peter Golenbock’s first act of the same name with added material – an oral history. Originally published in 1992 as Fenway then again in 2005 as Red Sox Nation, the third terrific tome tantalizes the reader with its depth and breadth of BoSox lore, legend and language. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ESPECIALLY FOR SOX FANS
Big data Baseball by Travis Sawchik (Flatiron Books, $26.99, 242 pages) is more than a fascinating book about baseball and numbers. It is an inside look at how the Pirates of Pittsburgh were transformed from a small markets franchise into big time player. Sub-tiled, “Math, Miracles and the End of a 20-year Losing Streak, “The book is Moneyball plus. A KEEPER
IN THE WORKS FOR FALL 2015:
Written by acclaimed sports author and oral historian Harvey Frommer, with an intro by pro football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, When It Was Just a Game tells the fascinating story of the ground-breaking AFL–NFL World Championship Football game played on January 15, 1967: Packers vs. Chiefs. Filled with new insights, containing commentary from the unpublished memoir of Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Stram, featuring oral history from many who were at the game—media, players, coaches, fans—the book is mainly in the words of those who lived it and saw it go on to become the Super Bowl, the greatest sports attraction the world has ever known. Archival photographs and drawings help bring the event to life.
Dr. Harvey Frommer is in his 39th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling “Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,” his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium was published in 2008 and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park was published to acclaim in 2011.