Famous stadium moments fill pages for a good read

Yankee Stadium: A Tribute is not just another Yankees book. Rather, it is an exciting mix of classic collector photos, concise text and sidebars, with an original DVD on Yankee Stadium: The Golden Age laid in. The subtitle of the book is 85 Years of Memories: 1923-2008 with Commentary by Three Generations of Yankees.

Highlights are grouped by chapters: “Magical Moments,” “October Classics,” “Stadium Milestones” and “A Showcase for the Stars and Not Just Baseball.” The final chapter covers famous non-baseball events at the stadium, including Joe Louis’ knockout of Max Schmeling and the first overtime NFL game, a 21-17 Baltimore Colts victory over the New York Giants.
But the heart of the book is Yankee highlights featuring the Babe, Roger Maris and his 61 home runs, Mantle, Mr. October, Larsen’s masterpiece, Gehrig’s farewell, Jeter’s shining moment and much more.

Yankee Stadium: A Tribute by Les Krantz, Harper Collins, 2008, hardcover, 176 pages, $29.95.

l For 62 seasons, 1909-71, Forbes Field was home to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Significant essays on important events performed over those years in Forbes Field have been chosen by editors David Cicotello and Angelo J. Louisa to document the stadium’s legacy in their detailed history.

Baseball was the heart of the action at Forbes, home to the great Negro League Homestead Grays, as well as the National League Pirates. Boxing matches and football games also brought fans to Forbes.

The dimensions and configurations of the field and a play-by-play transcript of the final game at Forbes complete Part I. In Part II, more than 55 former players, managers, club officials and fans of the Pirates recall their memories.  

Forbes Field: Essays and Memories of the Pirates’ Historic Ballpark, 1909-1971 edited by David Cicotello and Angelo J. Louisa, McFarland & Co., 2007, softcover, 254 pages, $35.

l A beautiful ballpark book published by the Northeastern University Press that received little notice when published deserves attention. Boston’s Ballparks & Arenas features vintage photos and superb research on the games and events played in the parks and arenas – the good years and the bad.

Part one highlights the Nine Wonders of the Boston Sports World: South End Grounds, Huntington Avenue Grounds, Fenway Park, Braves Field. Boston Arena, Boston Garden, FleetCenter, Foxboro Stadium and Gillette Stadium.
The Forgotten Parks – Dartmouth Street Grounds, Congress Street Grounds, Sam Mark’s Stadium, Balmoral Park and Lincoln Park – form part two. Playing fields that were used on occasion are discussed in part three.

Boston’s Ballparks and Arenas by Alan E. Foulds, Northeastern University Press, 2005, hardcover, 221 pages, $24.95.

l A volume of essays on New York Mets history, collected by Dana Brand, a professor of English and American Literature at Hofstra University, spans more than 40 years of lore centered on a single theme – the experience of being a Mets fan.

The remembrances are often humorous and sometimes painful. They range from the Mets/Seinfeld TV show connection to the sound of Jets overhead to Keith Hernandez. This is great baseball writing that will delight Mets fans and everyone who enjoys baseball.

Mets Fan by Dana Brand, McFarland & Co., 2007, softcover, 212 pages, $29.95.

l Three university math professors have collaborated to lead neophyte baseball fans into the science of baseball statistics, especially toward an understanding of Sabermetrics.

Introduced in the 1970s, and made popular by the Society for American Baseball Research gurus, John Thorn and Pete Palmer, in The Hidden Game of Baseball, expand on these tools for analysis on how to measure, for example, peak vs. career performances, linear weights and runs created.

The new popular calculations like OPS (on-base plus slugging), WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) and FP (park factor), among many others, are made comprehensible and inviting.

Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics by Gabriel B. Costa, Michael R. Huber and John T. Saccoman, McFarland & Co., 2008, softcover, 190 pages, $29.95.

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