Sports Book Reviews

“The Cracker Jack Collection Baseball’s Prized Players” and Other Sporting Reads
By Harvey Frommer, Contributor
July 12, 2013 Updated: July 12, 2013

All types of sports books with all kinds of approaches are available for your mid-summer reading. Not all are all stars, but all have something for everyone going for them.

Leading off as an all star section is “The Cracker Jack Collection Baseball’s Prized Players” by Tom Zappala & Ellen Zappala with John Molori & Jim Davis (Peter E. Randall Publisher, $30.00, 177 pages). It is a lavish coffee table tome. From the fabulous art work through the vintage Cracker Jack baseball cards to the organization and lively essays – the book belongs on every baseball fan’s sports bookshelf. It will stay on mine. HIGHLY NOTABLE

From Dutton Publishers comes “Trading Bases” by Joe Peta ($27.95, 368 pages). The author was a Wall Street market maker and head trader for a long-short equity hedge fund. This book is an inside look at the almost $400 billion sports gambling industry. Funny, poignant, insightful, entertaining and educational, this is a work of baseball analysis and risk. WORTH READING

“18 in America” by Dylan Dethier (Scribner, $25.00, 258 pages) is all about the  game of golf and the youthful author’s drive across America and his playing a round of golf in every state side from Alaska and Hawaii.

“Growing Up Gronk” by Jeff Schober (HMH, $25.00, 201 pages) is as its sub-title proclaims about a family and its raising of champs. Three of the Gronks play in the NFL, another is an on the rise football player and another played pro football.

“Speak English” by Rafael Hermoso (Kent State University Press, paper $19.95, 187 pages) is a small book with a big topic and hefty price tag—the rise of Latinos in baseball.

“Cleveland Indians Legends” by Russell Schneider (Kent State University Press, $29.95, 87 over-sized pages) is a delight to look at. It showcases 40 legends from the franchise in amazing paintings created by Tom Denny. My favorite is page 8 which features “Shoeless Joe Jackson” in words by Schneider and image by Denny. The book is a must have for fans of the Tribe.

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,” is currently working on a book on the first Super Bowl—anyone with contacts, stories, suggestions please contact.