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BOOK REVIEW: Graphical Player 

Harvey Frommer

"Graphical Player," "Gay Talese Reader" and more

As 2010 roars to its close, there's terrific hot stove reading or year end browsing of sports-related books there for the taking. Herewith, a winning lineup. Enjoy

A sure bet for fantasy baseball fans from Acta Sports is "Graphical Player" edited by John Burnson ($22.95, 285 pages, paper). Over 1,050 minor and major league players are featured in dashboards of stats and graphs. There are also 100 top prospects profiled with three expert opinions per profile. There are tables comparing each player to his competition at his position, four years of career stats for each player and so much more. If ever a book was worth the price - -"Graphical Player" - definitely is. OUTSTANDING

"Gay Talese Reader" (Walker, $14.95, 265 pages, paper) is worth the price spotlighting as it does some of the classic sports pieces by one of the classiest writers around. We are there with the talented Talese as he searches for and ruminates on Ernest Hemingway, the Joes - - DiMaggio and Louis, Muhammad Ali and more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

"The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History" (Bloomsbury, $25.00, 223 pages) is the hoop game as viewed by FreeDarko and company. It is a view of roundball from all kinds of perspectives, some a bit dizzy for the conventional reader, but all entertaining. For example, the book has a section in living color on "Only the Ball Was Orange" about early barnstorming teams like the Rens, Original Celtics, et al, and another section on "The Hair Up There" from shaved (Slick Watts) to Afro (Wes Unseld) to Big Afro (Artis Gilmore). UNCOVENTIONALL BUT INTERESTING READING

"Lucky Me" by Eddie Robinson with C. Paul Rogers III (SMU Press, $23.95, 252 pages, 42b&w photos) is a memoir of 65 splendid years spent in baseball. Robinson, premier first baseman, nifty southpaw swinger, has tales to tell about players and others he played with (or worked) with and against like Babe Ruth, Bob Feller, Larry Doby, Casey Stengel, Brooks Robinson, George Steinbrenner . . . "Lucky Me" is what any reader will see reading this insightful, interesting, involving tome. NIFTY

In 2011, Harvey Frommer will be in his 36th year of writing sports books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 40 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM, an oral/narrative history was published in 2008 as well as a reprint version of his classic "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball." Frommer's newest work REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION (Abrams) is set for March 2011.

Frommer sports books are available direct from the author - discounted and autographed.

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