Tagged: christmas

Babe’s Place-The Lives of Yankee Stadium


I am not a Yankee fan in any sense of the word, but I will acknowledge their achievements throughout history and the contributions they have made to both the game and its storied history.  The original Yankee Stadium was witness to many of the games greatest players and scores of historical moments.  With its closing a few years back, baseball lost one of its historical palaces, but I have found a book that chronicles its entire history and gives the stadium the true respect that it was due.

product_thumbnail

By:Michael Wagner-2015

There have been a few books in the past that have made me go wow, but this one beats them all.  Author Michael Wagner starts from the stadium’s original construction and provides all sorts of details about building a stadium in the 20’s.  It covers stories about building delays, internal political struggles, how many bricks that were used and monetary costs to build the palace.  I am using that brick number to dazzle my friends when we start asking each other obscure baseball trivia.  It obviously does cover the great moments that happened there during its original incarnation and gives the reader a good feel of what the stadium was like during that early era of baseball.

Next the book takes another in-depth look at the remodeling of the stadium in the mid 1970’s.  The deconstruction and remodeling details are plentiful in this book and gives an inside look at what really went on behind the scenes during this remodeling phase.  Many of these things you will find hard to believe when you hear the  lengths they went to preserving its original heritage.  This portion of the book also covers the great moments that happened at Yankee Stadium during this second phase of its life.  This is the phase many of us are most familiar with so it was nice to relive some of those memories.

This book provides an enormous array of pictures.  From the original building of the stadium to its remodeling.  Many are from the authors private collection, and they are a unique insight to the process and how large of an undertaking it was to remodel this stadium.

Finally, one aspect I found interesting was the personal correspondence of the author attempting to get memories from those who played there.  He had success to varying degrees, but it was a fun way to see what players thought about the old girl during her prime.

It doesn’t matter if you are a New York Yankee fan or not this is a book worth checking out.  The original Yankee Stadium has given way to progress, but I personally think it should have remained and been revered in such ways that Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are today.  Old Yankee Stadium had a large historical value and this book has done a wonderful job on preserving some of the details and memories for generations to come.

You can contact Author Michael Wagner directly via email for information on how to order this great book for all baseball fans.

yankeeswinws@yahoo.com

Happy Reading

Gregg

Still Throwing Heat-Strikeouts, the Streets and a Second Chance


When you think of the Houston Astros in the 1970’s, one of the first names that comes to mind is J.R.Richard.  Being a tall and lanky pitcher with a blazing fastball, he combined both of these attributes to scare the crap out of hitters throughout the National League.  In an era in Houston before Nolan Ryan, Richard was the ace on the staff of the young up and coming group.  With the signing of Nolan Ryan the Astros became a force to be reckoned within the league and the sky was the limit for everyone. Then one day the glass ceiling shattered and for one player life would never be the same.

51sr3xgt+UL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

By: J.R. Richard & Lew Freedman-2015

I was really looking forward to this one.  I was always a fan of J.R.’s growing up and remember him in the Astros uniforms of the late 70’s.  I remember hearing of his stroke and trying to follow his comeback as best a fan who lived in Philadelphia in 1980 could.  The translation of that last sentence means I could not follow it very well.  So between the story line and Lew Freedman working on this book I expected a winner.  I am happy to say I was not disappointed.

The book follows a back and forth format.  Each chapter starts with an overview of what that chapter is going to cover, presumably in the words of Freeman.  Then it shifts to Richard sharing his story.  It is a good format that works very well for this book, instead of trying to make it all seem like J.R. doing all of the storytelling.

The book covers a great deal of topics in Richard’s life.  It talks about his poor upbringing, his trek through the minors and then finally arriving in Houston to stay.  The biggest part of this book is of course, talking about his unfortunate stroke and the devastating after effects it has had on his entire life.  He shows you how his career was never able to be revived, how marriages failed, business dealings went bad and all the things that eventually led to him living on the streets of Houston.

One would think after all of this J.R. Richard would be extremely bitter, but I found just the opposite in this story.  He has been lucky enough to find God and get his life back on track.  He has through his faith been able to understand his past, and accept it for who it has helped him become.  It really is a remarkable story of perseverance and overcoming obstacles in one’s life.  He shows great character and is a better man than I ever could because of his outlook of his own life.  If it was me that had to struggle through all of this, I don’t ever think I could have kept the positive outlook he was able to maintain.

There has not been a lot of things published on J.R. in the past, so this book really helps fans understand what truly went on in J.R. Richard’s life. All baseball fans should check this out it really is both an enjoyable and remarkable story.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Triumph Books

Still Throwing Heat

Happy Reading and Merry Christmas to all, may Santa be nice to your library this year.

Gregg

 

 

Hard-Luck Harvey Haddix and the Greatest Game Ever Lost


When you look back over the history of the game of baseball, there are certain things that may never happen again.  The game changes with every generation and certain things will just never be allowed to happen again.  I don’t think anyone will break Cal Ripken Jr’s consecutive game streak.  I know no pitcher will ever win 30 games again, mostly due to the five man rotation and of course Harvey Haddix’s 12 inning Perfect Game will never be topped either.  The feat itself as it stands is next to impossible, and the way pitchers are used today, none starter will ever get to the 12th inning in a game.  Today’s book takes a great look at why that game was so special.

51SiDtsdgLL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_

By:Lew Freedman – 2009

I have said it before when doing other books that  I really like Lew Freedman’s work.  I have read several in the past and really enjoyed them, so that is one of the reasons why I chose to take a look at this one.  One of the other reasons is I always liked Harvey Haddix.  He was a durable pitcher that quietly went about his business without much fanfare.  He reminds me a lot of Bobby Shantz in the fact that they just went about their routine and you almost forgot they were on the team until they entered a game.

Freedman’s book walks the reader through this 12 inning masterpiece inning by inning.  It is a back and forth format between each inning and the team itself.  You get game details and some stories about his teammates, but more importantly it fills in a lot of the blanks about this game.

Played on a day that rain was a threat all day in Milwaukee, in an era where not every game was televised, there are a few questions about the details of this game that I always had.  Unless you had a radio recording of this you were out of luck.  Haddix was under the weather all day and through shear inner strength he pulled it together and pitched one of the greatest games of all-time………..that resulted in a loss.

In the end Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings and lost in the 13th.  In the end he was more mad that he got the game loss instead of losing the perfect game.  In a night that no one saw the game on television and less than twenty thousand showed up, hundreds of thousands of people will remember exactly what happened because they were there or saw it on TV.  This game and its details followed Harvey until his untimely death in 1994.

This book is worth picking up, because it really explains all the details.  Its something that is eventually going get lost to the passage of time, so it is good that Freedman got the story on record before everyone forgets who Harvey Haddix was and why for one night he really was perfect.

You can get this book from the nice folks at McFarland

Hard-Luck Harvey Haddix

Happy Reading

Gregg

We have been Trevorized!!!!


Sometimes I come across a book that has some sort of underlying theme that includes baseball, but wouldn’t really be considered a baseball book.  We have seen that baseball has great talent in bringing all sorts of people together, regardless of race, sex, creed, religion or disabilities.  It is one of the things that makes the game so great.  Baseball has introduced to the world a remarkable young man who through his family’s love and support has not let his disability stand in the way of being the best person he can be.

519mANI3cEL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

By: Robert & Trevor Hendershot-2015

This is not even close to the standard baseball book that we are all used to.  So please keep that in mind as you read forward.  Trevor is a young man who lives in California and has Down-Syndrome.  He also works as a greeter for both the Anaheim (or whatever city they are from these days) Angels and Anaheim Ducks in the NHL.  From both my internet research and by reading the book,  Trevor has become somewhat of a local celebrity in California.  His engaging personality and loving life attitude have made him a local favorite among fans in the area.

Trevorized! is really a story about a father’s struggles with his own demons and learning to become the kind of father who has a son with special needs requires.  It is a journey of father and son who learn how to function together.  It also shows how they have leaned on their faith through good times and bad as a family unit.  Now the book overall falls more towards the religious side than the sports side, so keep that in mind if you are thinking about this book for yourself.

Overall this is really an remarkable story.  Trevor has excelled at his job with both employers and become a vital member of his teams.  The Hendershot’s are trying to work with the sports teams as well as Major League Baseball to employ more great folks like Trevor with special needs.  It is a great initiative and hopefully the teams and leagues stand along with Trevor and his family and make it a reality.

This is really a unique and touching story about a family coping and in the end a great outcome for all involved.  As I said above, the baseball angle is not a strong topic within the story, but Trevor’s journey is so interesting that is still warrants a look from baseball fans.

You can get this book direct from Trevor and Robert

TREVORIZED!

I don’t think by any measure that this is the last time we will be hearing from Trevor Hendershot.

Happy Reading

Gregg