I, first off, must apologize as my review is a day late because quite frankly…… I needed to cut my grass. It was not even remotely fun but needed to get done nonetheless. So without further ado let get to todays book.
Red Sox Review – 110 Years of Boston Red Sox Photos
By Mark Stang – 2011 – 224 Pages
St Johann Press
I have never really been a big fan of the coffee table book sector. Most of the time I felt they were fluff pieces that rehashed the same old photos with the same old captions we have seen 100 times. In that market, I have come across the same exact book with a different dust jacket and a new copyright date. So that really soured me on giving these types of books much of a chance. That is until now!
The Author of Red Sox Review has actually taken some time to thoughtfully outline the different subject matters. They have gone through the photographic history of the Sox over the last 110 years and found some people who are not necessarily mainstream. They have taken the time to pay homage to the personalities that have added substance to that storied franchise. It is by far not a fluff piece that talks about Ted Williams and Yaz for 80% of the book, then sprinkles everyone else in for good measure. It actually gives people like Bucky Walters, Smokey Joe Wood (who is from Shohola Pennsylvania, where I live, by the way!) and Pinky Higgins their due.
The format of the book that I find unique is almost every single person gets their own page. It is not like some books where they are going to fit six guys on a page, come hell or high water. In most cases it devotes a full page to the player and gives a thorough account of his time in Boston. It shows some great quality images of some turn of the 20th century players. Then the book works its way through today devoting the same space to those current day players. Another really cool aspect of the book is some of the photos they used are ones I have rarely, if ever, seen. How many of us have ever seen Rollie Fingers in a Red Sox uniform? After that botched trade with Charlie Finley’s Athletics, I bet not many. It’s in the book!
I don’t claim to be any sort of Red Sox expert but it really was interesting to see how many star-caliber and even Hall of Fame players have made their way through Boston. They are rich in history and this book takes a good and thorough look at what has transpired in Boston in terms of personnel. Not only does it cover players, it covers Managers, General Managers, Owners and Broadcast Personalities as well. It truly is all-encompassing of the teams history.
If you have any interest in the Red Sox or even baseball history in general this would be a good book for you to pick up. Die Hard Bo-Sox fans may not learn much new, but they will probably see some never before seen photos. This book actually made me change my perception of what a coffee-table book can be. It will make me think twice before I say no to looking at one in the future. It seems, after all, that sometimes an old dog can learn new tricks!
This book published by St Johann Press.