As the seasons move from baseball into football and hockey and basketball so do the subject matters of books being published. All levels and varieties of writing from all kinds of publishers take center stage. There is something for everyone. Herewith, a sampling.
Derek Jeter #2, Thanks for the Memories by David Fischer (Sports Publishing, $24.95, 134 pages) is a glowing tribute in words and images all about the Yankee Captain of Captains. Now that Jeter has finally retired and entered the pantheon of Yankee heroes and legends, all sorts of publications have stepped up to the plate to capitalize on the moment. Derek Jeter #2, Thanks for the Memories is one of the best of those. Simple, focused and clear—it emulates its storied subject. A MUST FOR JETER FANS.
The Sports Strategist by Irving Rein and others (Oxford University Press, $29.95, 296 pages) is geared to a specialized readership—developing sports industry leaders for the high performance sector. The book does get to the heart of the matter—sports as big business.
Wild Pitches by Jason Stark (Triumph, $25.95, 334 pages) is a self-indulgent look at a sort of lifer in the world of baseball looking at it from inside via ESPN. If you are of fan of Stark and his “rumblings, grumblings, reflections on the game he loves,” to paraphrase just a bit his book’s sub-title, this book is a winner for you.
Draw in the Dunes by Neil Sagebiel (Thomas Dunne Books, $26.99, 320 pages) is all about that long ago 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale. The heavily favored USA golf team with legends lined up and at the ready seemed set to cop a victory as Americans had for the past 42 years of competition. It was not to be. And how that came to be is the charm and appeal and drama of as the book’s sub-title notes: “the finish that shocked the world.”
Why Football Matters by Mark Edmundson (Penguin Press, $26.95, 229 pages) is a slim volume that attempts in an academic manner to explain and make the reader understand the nuances and necessities of football.
Baseball’s Greatest Comeback by J. Brian Ross (Rowman & Littlefield, $38.00, 224 pages) is an up close and personal look at the Miracle Braves of 1914, timed to celebrate the 100th anniversary. The book carefully and entertainingly details what many consider the greatest comeback in baseball history. A TOP HOT STOVE READ
American Pastime by Len Joy (Hark! New Era Publishing, paper, $15.00, 412 pages) is a baseball novel set against the background of the United States from the 50s to the 70s. Danser Stonemason is the main character and we are there with him through success and trouble in his game within a game within the national pastime. HIGHLY INTERESTING
Battle of the Bay by Gary Peterson (Triumph, a pricey $16.95 for this slim tome, 203 pages, paper) is all about the havoc and heroism that gripped the Bay area as the Athletics of Oakland and the Giants of San Francisco had their World Series matchup rent asunder. A season and a thundering exclamation point disaster.
Facing Wayne Gretzky edited by Brian Kennedy (Sports Publishing, $24.95, 232 pages) is an inside hockey book. Those who played with and against the great one offer up stories and perceptions of what it was like. In the same vein from the same publisher there is Facing Michael Jordan edited by Sean Deveney ($24.95, 212 pages). Players from Ray Allen to Dennis Rodman offer up stories and insights about MJ.
Legends of Oklahoma Sooners Football by Ray Dozier (Sports Publishing, $24.95, 172 pages) is a must for fans of this franchise. All the great ones are here like Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer, the Selmon Brothers and more.
My Father Never Took Me to a Baseball Game by Stephen Costello (Patches Publishing, 131 pages, paper) is all about fads, fans, fathers, baseball, trivia, honest emotions. GO FOR IT.
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. The prolific Frommer’s WHEN IT WAS JUST A GAME, AN ORAL HISTORY OF SUPER BOWL ONE will be published in 2015.