I have noticed in recent months in looking for books for my blog that the 1970’s have become a very popular subject. There were so many monumental changes to the game of baseball that are rooted in this decade. Free agency, escalating salaries, new modern ash tray stadiums with Astroturf and the resurgence of the New York Yankees immediately come to mind. In that respect, it does seem fitting with the passage of time that we now analyze and celebrate that decade.
1970’s Baseball-A History of the Decades Best Seasons, Teams and Players
By:Joe Gersbeck 2014
These type of books that do yearly overviews and statistical analysis do not always interest me. When I find several different books on the same decade, I have noticed that the reader gets the same recycled information with the authors own slant on the topic. I think sometimes you have the same issue with team dedicated books. I am starting to see the same problem with the Red Sox and breaking the curse of Ruth. But this book surprised me…..and in a good way.
Joe Gersbeck did a nice job of analyzing the seasons in a way that kept it interesting and informative. It was not just a season overview but you felt like you were back in time re-living it. Next, it moves on to rankings by position. Again, it was a very detailed analysis that shows a lot of thought put in to the ranking process. He also throws in some non-traditional positions such as Clutch-Players which becomes subjective but still very well done and thought out.
The next section reviews each teams overall record for the entire decade. It also analyzes the team statistical leaders on both the offense and defensive side of the ball. Diffused in between teams is the star players of the decade. It is a nice overview of their accomplishments during the decade and their value to their teams.
Finally, the book wrapped up reviewing the All-Star Games of the 70’s as well as the top ten moments of the 70’s. They were again very thorough and well thought out for the book. I thought it was a little odd that there was no World Series section. There was obviously some dominance by certain teams in the 70’s but for the complete package it should have been in there, in my opinion. Lastly, there is a very detailed appendix included in this book that covers all the normal statistics of the decade.
As you can tell I enjoyed this book. A well thought out book with significant detail becomes timeless. I have said in the past that I much prefer a hard copy book over an electronic version. As far as I can tell this one is only available in E-form. If I am wrong please someone let me know and I will update this. I just think this would be a great reference book to have on the shelf for myself. I do believe you can download it from Amazon.com, or get direct from the author as well at http://www.1970sbaseball.com.
Nice Job Joe!
10/1/14 UPDATE: Author now has printed copies available for sale.
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.
Well…… better late than never I always say! Sometimes through the course of times and seasons things get forgotten. People, stories, information and rosters. And while it may not always be intentional, it still happens. Even the most hardcore fan, if you ask them who was the bullpen coach of their favorite team in 1977, might have trouble answering that. Well behold today’s book solves that little dilemma and brings us the information we have been missing.
Baseball Skippers and Their Crews-The History of Every Manager and Coach 1871-2014
By Thomas W. Bracato (St Johann Press)
My first impression of this book was..WOW….what a great source of data this is. It lists every Major League Manager, teams managed, years managed and career record. It also gives a brief synopsis of their career touching on managerial feats as well as any playing feats if applicable. In this digital age it is nice to have a resource like this at your finger tips.
Now the part I find really great. It chronicles all the coaching staffs from 1871-2014 as well. It has all the data for the coaches but without career records of course. Where else are you going to find coaching information on the obscure and forgotten souls such as Alex Monchak, Billy Muffett and Brian Poldberg. Its nice to be able to look in to one source and find information at your finger tips. We are talking over 2300 people!
This is the type of book that I think has gotten forgotten in the internet age. It reaches back to the day when the Baseball Encyclopedia was published each year and kept getting thicker and thicker and was your only source of information for stats and data. Their truly should be a place in each fans collection for books like these. I can see myself referring to it countless times just to verify information and to use as a learning tool. Stats and Data Geeks rejoice, this is a book for you!
As caretakers of the history of our beloved game we each should take the time to find a copy of this book and learn from it. It has some great information included within and I believe we all in the end could learn from it. I really don’t think you can do wrong by adding this book to your collection.
The Book is available from the nice folks at St Johann Press so give their site a look see and see what other Baseball offerings they have as well.