- Baseball in the Garden of Eden, A Book ReviewPosted 776 days ago
REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox
- Updated: January 8, 2011
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THE BABE. THE KID. THE CURSE. THE MONSTER.
A CENTURY OF STORIES.
REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK:
AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY
OF THE HOME OF THE BOSTON RED SOX
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.Welcome to Fenway Park. Six days after the Titanic sank in the Atlantic, legendary Boston mayor John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald threw out the first pitch at the first major league baseball game played at his city’s brand-new ballpark. It had an attractive red brick façade, the first electric baseball scoreboard, and 18 turnstiles ready for use. The park—built in the city’s Fenway section—was fittingly named Fenway Park. That was one hundred seasons ago. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of this remarkable venue, sports writer and author Harvey Frommer presents a timely masterwork: “REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox” (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, March 2011). The book offers a stunning collection of team history, first-person narratives and iconic images from every epoch of the last century. Fenway isn’t the most beautiful ballpark in the world. It isn’t artfully placed by the sea or nestled amongst the behemoth skyscrapers of the Boston skyline. It doesn’t have a full-sized Ferris Wheel out in right field. It’s small. It has idiosyncrasies and shadows and ghosts. The rooftop doesn’t even have a single smooth line. Yet, after hosting 130 million visitors for over 7,500 major league games, Fenway is a ballpark that captures the very essence of baseball. In New England, going to Fenway is an experience shared from generation to generation. It elicits poetry. It has “character”, “mystique” and “eccentric angularities”. The iconic Citgo sign looms low on the horizon like a local moon. It is a place of broken hearts and life-long love affairs. Of awe-inspiring first impressions and exorcised curses. All New Englanders have some kind of Fenway story. Frommer captures this sense of place, as REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK is an incomparable walk through the decades with anecdotes from the likes of Bobby Doerr, Luis Tiant, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, Dwight Evans, Jimmy Piersall, Fred Lynn, Terry Francona, Pumpsie Green, Dan Shaughnessy, Bill Lee, Jim Lonborg, Leigh Montville, Don Zimmer, Dennis Eckersley, Jon Miller and Michael Dukakis, among others. REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK also gives readers a different perspective on so many chapters of the Red Sox history, including:* Babe Ruth’s debut in 1914;* Owner Harry Frazee’s legendary “fire sale” of talent late in 1919;* The Yawkey era;* The $1 million renovation for the “new Fenway Park”, which opened April 17, 1934;* The 1939 debut of the boy who would become “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived”;* Teddy Ball Game’s .406 batting average in 1941;* The eternal rivalry with the New York Yankees;* Ted Williams’ last game on September 28, 1960, which included a home run in his last at bat;* The “Impossible Dream” season of 1967;* Nuns’ Day at the ballpark;* The legendary Carlton Fisk homer of the ’75 World Series;* The one-game playoff in 1978 that will forever live in infamy;* Elizabeth Dooley, the fan who attended more than 4,000 consecutive home games over 55 years;* “Save Fenway Park”;* The greatest sports story ever told: The 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox;* The animosity between the bleachers and the box seats;* The view from the scoreboard; People love coming to Fenway. Its mystique unites families, communities, locals and visitors. Harvey Frommer captures this emotion and grants the reader a rare opportunity to watch a lifetime of baseball played in their beloved park. Open the pages of REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK and you can smell the hot dogs. You can hear the roar of the fans. Sherm Feller’s voice echoes above the crowd. John Kiley’s organ plays “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Curt Gowdy is doing the play-by-play. Manny, Yaz and the Splendid Splinter roam the outfield. Double X and Boggs man the corners. Doerr and Nomar up the middle. Pudge squats behind the plate and the Babe takes the mound. The Green Monster keeps watch over it all. About the AuthorHarvey Frommer is a noted oral historian and sports journalist and 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. REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK:An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red SoxAuthor: Harvey Frommer, Foreword by Johnny PeskyPublisher: Stewart, Tabori and ChangFormat: Hardcover; 240 pages; Retail Price: $45.00ISBN-13: 978-1-58479-852-1Publication Date: March 2011