Thursday, March 10, 2011

Remembering Fenway Park

As Opening Day approaches, a surfeit of baseball books hits the shelves. (I am speaking metaphorically here, since the shelves of bookstores, are going the way of the Studebaker)

The baseball fan's need for something new to fill the space between game hours is considerable.

On the other hand, we're all broke, and we have to save up for the next tablet device, so we can't buy all of the books about the National Pastime that are out there. I am grateful that, in my position as "a thought leader in Boston sports", PR people will send me baseball books to look at. ( I turned down the new Derek Jeter coloring book, so I do have my limits). Also that last sentence meets my obligations to the Federal Trade Commission, which insists that I disclose if I write about free stuff. It's a stupid rule that only I follow by thew way.

Here's one you need to buy:

Remembering Fenway Park

Now, the peiced together oral history has been done countless times, most notably in a book I still look at a couple of times a year, namely Fenway, by Peter Golenbock. But, the thing was published in 1992 and so, let's face it, misses out on a couple of things I like to call World Championships,

not to mention 1999, and, dare I say October 2003.

So, for my money (actually yours), you should pick up the Frommer book. It not only has great stories and oral histories, but it has pictures of the old ballpark (known in my house as The House that beer Built).

It also includes, at about page 102, a story by Jerry Casale, about how he felt the night he gave up the Grand Slam to Gus Triandos of the Orioles in the late innings and lost the game 5-2. This is significant to me, because I was there that night, and I have never forgotten it, have told the story countless times, to vacant stares for the most part. Up until I read Casale's comments I was convinced a) it never happened or b) I was the only person left alive who was there that night. (I just checked and Jerry Casale is still with us)

There are some good stories about Ted Williams, and the urine troughs in the men's rooms, now dearly departed are described in as excruciating detail as I remember them being. The memories about the vicious drunks in the stands are few and far between, but that's a minor quibble.

The pictures and layout are truly wonderful, and I get not a penny from its sale.

Make this the one baseball book you buy this year.

(There, that should make the cover blurb on the softcover edition)

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