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"The House That Ruth Built," "An Accidental Sportswriter" and other Summer 2011 Reads

Also Read: Remembering Yankee Stadium Yankees World Series 2001 Baseball How to Play the Game


The ESPN book and other Summer Reads

"Those Guys Have All the Fun" by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales (Little Brown, 763 pages, $27.99) is a mother lode of data about the world of ESPN. This oral history has more than 500 voices including Chris Berman, Erin Andrews, Jimmy Kimmel, Tony Kornheiser, Rush Limbaugh, Tony Hawk, Dick Vitale.

The result is a masterwork ­ a behind-the-scenes look at the media monolith that was and now is more than ever - -ESPN ­ told by many of the people who observed and experienced it. As an oral historian, I can truly appreciate the hard work and the creativity that went into this exceptional book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

From Excelsior Editions (SUNY Press) comes a quartette of sports titles of varying subject matters but all interesting. The star of the four is "The Stadium" with photographs by Jon Plasse ($19.95, coffee table size). This slim volume is sub-titled "Images and Voices of the Original Yankee Stadium." One could quibble with that wording since the "original Yankee Stadium got a face lift in the 1970s. No Matter ­ this is a worthy work showcasing artful black and white images to my knowledge never before seen in a book. BELONGS ON YOUR SPORTS BOOKSHELF.

Others from Excelsior include: "When Boxing Was a Jewish Sport" by Allen Bodner, ($24.95, 207 pages, paper), "Blows to the Head" by Binnie Klein ($19.95, 197 pages). The book's slant is how boxing changed the author's mind. And finally there is "Six Weeks in Saratoga" by Brendan O'Meara ($24.95, 267 pages) all about the wondrous tale of Rachel Alexandra, the three-year-old filly who ran to triumph in the Preakness 2009.

Full disclosure: As the author of what people are calling the definitive book on Fenway: "Remembering Fenway Park" and as one of the newest members of Red Sox Nation, I am pleased to review the children's book "Frankie Goes to Fenway" by Seneca Clark and Sandy Giardi with illustrations by Julie Decedve and "Fenway Park" by Saul Wisnia.

"Frankie Goes to Fenway" (Three Bean Press, $18.95, coffee table size) is sure to please fans of all ages. It is cleverly written, artfully illustrated and a product that much loving care went into. It features Frankie who exited his Vermont domicile and happily took up residence at Fenway. It was a blissful existence until a New York cat came on the scene. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED . The Wisnia book is a slight job with a hefty price tag ­ 173 pages and $29.99. Many long sentences mar coherence; a good editor was needed.

2011 marks Harvey Frommer's 36th consecutive year of writing sports books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 41 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 is REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION (Abrams) Read all about it:

He is available for speaking engagements. FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.

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"Harvey Frommer's Fenway Park first captivates the reader with its visual beauty. They are all there, some in color some in black and white, Ted the Thumper, the matchless Yaz, Mysterioso Manny, even The Babe. And the people, yes the people, from all corners of New England. Add to these images Mr. Frommer's trenchant prose and you have one memorable book."

- Roger Kahn

"Daringly organized as a mosaic of Red Sox Nation, Remembering Fenway Park glitters with fond memories and delightful surprises. Anyone who has ever sat in Fenway, or longs to, will love this book. In his sure hands with oral history, Harvey Frommer is a treasure of our national pastime." -John Thorn, Official Historian for Major League Baseball

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