Tuesday, December 9, 2008

HOF gets Gordon, snubs Santo

The Veterans Committee of the Hall of Fame has reviewed the qualifications of a couple dozen candidates and decided to elect Joe Gordon, while snubbing the likes of Joe Torre and, most significantly, Ron Santo.

A couple of months ago, when the lists first came out, I reviewed the qualifications of the candidates. You can read my old posts here: Joe Gordon, Vern Stephens, Wes Ferrell, Sherry Magee, Bucky Walters, Carl Mays, Deacon White, and others.

I would have voted for Joe Gordon from the old-timers ballot and Torre, Santo, and Kaat from the new ballot.

I'm very surprised Torre didn't make it, but I suspect Torre will get in once he's retired completely. They waited to induct Tommy Lasorda until after he retired, too.

It's a shame about Kaat and Santo. They were truly great players and they really belong in there.

But anyway, congratulations to Joe Gordon's family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Book Review: Remembering Yankee Stadium

You may have heard that old Yankee Stadium is no more, to be replaced next year by new Yankee Stadium. 2008 being the last year of old Yankee Stadium, a bevy of books was published commemorating the House that Ruth Built.

One of the best is Harvey Frommer's tome, Remembering Yankee Stadium (published by Stewart, Tabori, and Chang). In a nutshell, this book is beautifully illustrated with vintage photographs and contains hundreds of stories and remembrances from dozens of baseball personalities.

If you're searching for a book for that Yankee fan in your life, you really can't go wrong with this book.

I received a review copy of this over the summer, and I've been waiting to read it until the season ended and I had more time. I've been perusing it over the past few days and it really is a fun stroll down Yankee Stadium lane. It's organized by decade, beginning with the opening of the stadium in the 1920s all the way through this year.

The standard text, written by Frommer, covers all the significant historic moments in a no-frills, just-the-facts style, which uncovers lots of fun little details but doesn't break much new ground. In fact, I would have liked to read more in-depth information about some of the decisions and developments. For example, Frommer points out that the stadium was designed to favor left-handed hitters, but he doesn't explain why. Was it just for Babe Ruth? Was it to take advantage of the physical location and the setting sun...? Over the years, I've read conflicting statements about it, and I was hoping Frommer would settle the matter, but no.

Anyway, you're not really buying the book for the basic history anyway. You're buying it for the personal memories of players, fans, reporters, and stadium employees that make up a huge part of this book. It's amazing that Frommer was able to assemble such a wonderful collection of personalities, and they're going to carry you through the book. Whitey Ford, Sparky Lyle, Reggie Jackson, they're all here.

Really, you can't go wrong with this book as a holiday gift.

Where to buy:

Barnes & Noble