Tagged: mark fidrych

Pudge-The Autobiography of Carlton Fisk


There are certain moments in baseball history that transcend time.  The team, the year and the location are of little consequence, but that moment stays fresh in everyone’s mind forever.  For me, one of those moments is Carlton Fisk’s home run in Fenway Park during Game Six of the 1975 World Series.  It is one of the most iconic moments in the history of the game, and possibly the one thing Carlton Fisk is most famous for.  What else do we really know about Fisk though?  Everyone is familiar with his playing career and the numbers he put up during his Hall of Fame career, but how much do we really know about his personality?  Recently a book has been published that gives an inside look at the Hall of Fame slugger.

By: Doug Wilson-2015

By: Doug Wilson-2015

To me for some reason, Carlton Fisk is one of those Hall of Famers that hides in the shadows.  When you think of the Hall of Fame he is not the first person that comes to mind.  Perhaps it is because his lone World Series was in 1975, or maybe its his calm and steady demeanor that relegates him to the background.  Whatever the reason may be, he is truly worthy of his place in Cooperstown and Doug Wilson has done a really nice job of walking the reader behind the curtain that is Carlton Fisk.

A man of great integrity that came from a strong New England upbringing, Fisk is portrayed as a pillar of character and personal strength.  The author takes readers on a journey through Fisk’s growing up and forging the character that is a staple of his personality.  You also get to see his debut in the majors and how he came to be a respected catcher and dedicated teammate.  Obviously this book would not even be close to complete without getting the inside story on the World Series Home Run.  It does a very nice job of showing the true story of Fisk’s time in Boston.  It shows the behind the scenes struggles with team management that ultimately led to the home-grown slugger heading to Chicago.

His time in Chicago and life after baseball for Fisk is also covered very nicely here.  It does show a complete picture of Fisk’s career.  It also lends a personal side to the Catcher that is not something I have come across before.  It was nice to see a book that focused on the person, instead of just the Home Run in 1975.

Doug Wilson always does a nice job with his books.  They are not overly flashy, but are always well researched and the subjects are usually ones that are lacking in other coverage.  His three other books that are out there do a nice job as well of covering their subject matter.  In my opinion Doug Wilson is becoming one of the better baseball biographers of this era.

All baseball fans should check this one out.  We are all familiar with the player and now its time to get to know the man behind the Catcher’s mask.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Thomas Dunne Books

Pudge-The Biography of Carlton Fisk

Happy Reading

Gregg

The Bird-The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych


It seems like every generation in baseball has a phenomenon all their own.  Something that takes the game by storm and regardless of who your team is that you root for and want to be part of it.  Things that come to mind are Roger Maris in 1961, McGwire and Sosa in 1998 and even the Bash Brothers in the 80’s.  But the 1970’s were a unique decade.  We have seen in the past from some of the other books we reviewed like Stars and Strikes by Dan Epstein, how the 70’s were a decade of change both on a social level and on the ball field.  The 70’s can lay claim to a few different memorable events, but one stands out above the rest.  Mark Fidrych of the Detroit Tigers was about to take the baseball world by storm, and they didn’t even see it coming.

download (3)

By:Doug Wilson-2013

Mark Fidrych was the product of a small Massachusetts town, coming from a modest background.  Never groomed to be a star athlete, he just played because he wanted to do so.  But Mark Fidrych’s antics on the pitching mound, a big head of unmanageable hair and blazing fastball made him the talk of the country in 1976.  Nicknamed The Bird due to his resemblance to Big Bird from Sesame Street, Fidrych had brief but magical career that to this day makes fans wonder what could have been.

Doug Wilson has written a book that explores the man behind the legend.  Everyone is familiar with all the on-field antics that were part of Fidrych’s quirky personality, but unless you lived in Detroit at the time, you may have not been all that familiar with the real Mark.  Wilson’s book gives a nice, detailed look at the man himself.  From his roots in Massachusetts, through the minor leagues, his gig as “The Bird” and finally life after baseball, it paints a very detailed picture of what a nice guy he was.  You always hear old players saying that they played for the love of the game, but I actually believe it with this one.  He just seemed to have fun with everything he did and baseball was no exception.  Many of the first hand accounts of Mark are taken from interviews with friends and family so they are really nice remembrances of a man who was taken from this world too soon.

Of course, what baseball book would be complete without taking a look at the on field activities of The Bird.  You see his minor and major league career, his attempts at rehabbing his bad arm and finally his life after baseball.   Most times the reporting on Mark Fidrych does not get beyond the on-field antics.  It was nice to see someone finally put something together that showed the complete picture.

All baseball fans should like this one.  If you were around during that magical summer that he took the game by storm, it will be fun re-living it.  If The Bird was before your time, it will be another fun ride seeing what made the 70’s so groovy.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Thomas Dunne Books

http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250048455

Happy Reading

Gregg