I am a big fan of anniversaries and nostalgia in baseball. Its good to remember where we came from and what has been accomplished, so a remembrance is always a welcome sight in my eyes. This year we knew it was coming, the 30th anniversary of the 86 World Series. It seems to be a bigger deal this year than the 25th anniversary was, but I always thought the 25th was celebrated more than the 30th, so I’m confused. Be my confusion what it is, we have chosen to go all out and celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the most thrilling World Series’ on record. With this anniversary there have been a slew of new books coming out celebrating the World Series champs, but today’s books take a look at both teams and gives balanced comparisons of them.
If you are not familiar with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), you have no idea what you are missing. They are the folks who do tireless research and find us more information about our sport than we all ever thought possible. They research complete teams and individual players, and do a stellar job at both. New for this years 30th Anniversary, they have produced two different but connected books that remind fans that the series was about more than just Bill Buckner.
Both of the books follow the same format, so as I am describing them it pertains to both volumes. The authors look at each man on that respective teams roster for the 1986 season. Giving in depth bios, analysis of the season performance and interesting facts about the players. They follow the same format for the Manager, General Manager, Coaching Staff and Announcers. So if this is not your home town team you get a real good feel of their complete personnel package.
Next they look at key team performances throughout the year and take note of several key games that helped the team gain momentum and what made them work as a cohesive unit. Next you see analysis of the Championship Series and the World Series. Finally, it asks a few honest questions about the way the teams were constructed and the important numbers that stick out for each team.
Quite honestly, this is your typical SABR book and is in line with what we have all come to expect from them. It is well researched and you feel very comfortable in the fact that you can take all information at face value and accept as that. Mainly this is because of the tireless efforts and dedication of the SABR staff and the quality work that every one of them puts forth on SABR projects. Each one of these folks that worked on these books should be commended because they have created another quality product.
Baseball fans should check this out because there is always something new fans can learn from these types of SABR books, plus it’s always fun to remember Bill Buckner.
You can get these books from the nice folks at SABR.
With all things in life, with success comes notoriety. In baseball the teams are already world-famous but when they are successful, they become overwhelmingly famous. In our culture when a team finally wins a World Series after a serious drought, the market becomes saturated with pieces of the team. The Boston Red Sox have been no stranger to that cultural phenomena over the past decade. Winning three World Series in the last ten years has certainly given new legs to books about the Red Sox. Everyone and their mother has created books about the team that finally broke the curse and given it their own special flair. Today’s book looks at one of the more recent offerings of Red Sox insight.
It is hard as a fan not to get discouraged when something that generally appeals to us like books, becomes overly saturated with the same topic. Most recently, in 2014, it was the retirement of Derek Jeter. How many books and mementos are now out on the market waiting for collectors and fans to snatch them up. The same thing has happened with the Boston Red Sox. With ending their World Series drought and finally breaking the Curse of the Bambino, tons of books were published. It created a whole new market that generated piles of books that are essentially on the same subject. Mainly ones about Red Sox history, the World Series and of course Fenway Park.
Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime have created a book that stands above the crowd in Red Sox history books. They take each World Series appearance and break it down into its own chapter. Each appearance gives the reader a game by game recap of that years World Series and all the events that transpired on the field. Another neat thing each chapter gives you is it separates a few of the players from each of the World Series team and gives a brief biography on the player and recaps how that year played out for that individual out on the field. It gives you a very thorough look at each of the World Series appearances and shows you how the game has changed through the years.
By far I am not saying the recent rash of Red Sox books are crap. It just seems excessive that the publishing world has set out to capitalize so heavily on the success of the Sox. There are several great books about the Red Sox and Fenway Park out there. Fortunately I have been lucky enough to come across a few of those in the past, and shared them here on the Bookcase and I am happy to say that this book has earned membership into the group as well.
Red Sox fans obviously will really enjoy it as well as history fans. It is full of great information about the Red Sox from the last 100+ years, and shows a very complete picture of the teams post-season history.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Sports Publishing
I have never once made it a secret that my favorite team is the Philadelphia Phillies. Through 130 years of existence, they have manged to win two World Championships and amassed over 10,000 losses. While it is not always easy to be a Phillies fan, my dedication has gone unchallenged for almost 40 years and still going strong. It is due to my team allegiance that when any books come out about my team, I have to check them out. In those 130 years of history there are bound to be some real heartbreaking years in there. For Phillies fans 1964 stands out as the all-time worst, and can generate profanity from old ladies and nuns without much effort. That brings us to todays book, an in-depth look at that bitter 1964 season.
The Year of the Blue Snow – The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies
By Mel Marmer and Bill Nowlin – 2013 Society for American Baseball Research
Books written by the members of SABR have always been thorough and highly detailed. They are the results of long hours of painstaking research that have given fans great historical reports with unparalleled accuracy. The Year of the Blue Snow is no exception to SABR’s great book catalog. Marmer and Nowlin have created a great chronicle of the horrible season that all but destroyed Phillies fans.
The authors break the season down and more importantly dissect the roster. They look at the highlights and lowlights that occurred during the 1964 season. Those occurrences were then put into perspective of how they fit into the season as a whole. It gave a nice look at what actually happened to the team, how it effected them, and how it contributed to the final result, the season ending choke.
Another aspect of this book I found very enjoyable was that it took a look at the complete roster. It did not just a look at the original season opening day roster as other books have done. It is everybody who wore a uniform that year, opening day, in season trades, minor league call ups, coaching staff and waiver claims. The biographies of each player expand beyond 1964. You get a glimpse of each players road to the majors, complete major league career, of course 1964 and post Phillies career as well as their life after baseball. These are very complete biographies of the players and of the quality I have come to expect from SABR books.
If you have any interest in the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, this is a great book to take a look at. I have read and reviewed several of the books produced on this season, but this one is easily the most comprehensive. Its scope covers everything and gives an accurate and extensively detailed picture that is chock full of information for the fans.
You can get this book by contacting the nice folks at the Society for American Baseball Research