More and more sports books keep on getting published. Some are like bunts that go foul. Others are scratch hits. Still others are home runs. And finally there are the grand slammers. All are to be rewarded for their effort—if not their impact.
“Mickey and Willie” by Allen Barra (Crown Publishers, 496 pages, $27.00) is a grand slammer. Thorough, compulsive reading, carefully conceived and researched, the tome brings us back to what I called “the last golden age” –a time when New York City baseball was king and “the Mick” and the “Say Hey Kid” were royalty. For those of a certain age this is required reading. For others, it is a dual narrative/bio worth the effort. NOTABLE
“So you Think You Know Baseball” by Peter E. Meltzer (Norton, $16.95, 386 pages, paper) is as its sub-title proclaims—a guide to the official rules. Also from Norton is “Mathletics” by John D. Barrow ($16.95, 320 pages, paper) a book in which the author applies his know-how about stats, economics and physics to talk about 100 things one didn’t know, in the sub-title’s phrase, about the world of sports.
“Walking With Jack” by Don J. Snyder (Doubleday, $25.95, 352 pages) is all about the magic that many times takes hold in the interaction between father and son on the golf course. This book makes the reader realize the “walk” a father will undertake to support his son. Bonding is just one of the terrific themes of this terrific tome. OUTSTANDING
“Color Blind” by Tom Dunkel (Atlantic Monthly Press, $25.00, 391 pages) is about a long ago time in the 1930s when Bismarck, North Dakota had bragging rights to one of the most dominating baseball teams in the USA. Dunkel does the subject proud—weaving a story together of a team, a town and a time. Black and white players bond together through the efforts of a Chrysler car dealer who added stars from the Negro Leagues like Quincy Troup and Satchel Paige. MEMORABLE
“Loudmouth” by Craig Carton (Simon & Schuster, $24.99, 272 pages) is the first book by the co-host of the Boomer and Carton show on WFAN-NY. Unusual insights pervade this sometimes lively tome.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 41 sports books including the classics: “New York City Baseball 1947-1957,” “Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,” “Remembering Yankee Stadium” and “Remembering Fenway Park,” his book on the first Super Bowl will be published fall 2014.